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A massive labor shortage in Britain’s trucking industry is disrupting the nation’s food supply chain, an industry trade group warns.
“Critical supply chains (are) failing” due to a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, the Road Haulage Association warned this week in a letter written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The organization blamed the labor crisis on several factors, including COVID-19 and Brexit, which resulted in foreign drivers heading home and not expected to return, and an inability to test new drivers over the past year because of pandemic shutdowns.
“Supermarkets are already reporting that they are not receiving their expected food stocks and, as a result, there is considerable wastage,” the letter states.
“To make the situation even worse, summer holidays are fast approaching, and drivers will take their leave entitlement. The lack of agency drivers to help support their absence will exacerbate the problem even further as will continued unlocking of the economy and the spikes in demand for food and drink created by the hot weather and major sporting events.
The letter implores the prime minister and other leaders to step in to avert the crisis, including the issuance of temporary worker visas for truck drivers.
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