Special Edition V.33 (May 2020)
TIME SENSITIVE: Another Way to Communicate Business Concerns to Governor Mills
May 1, 2020

Yesterday, we asked MMTA members to take a short survey for us to clearly articulate the emergency’s impacts on our members to inform her future decisions on reopening the Maine economy. If you have not done so already, we ask that you complete the online survey.

Dovetailing on this effort is a more immediate way for you (or your company) to send a message to the Governor. Kevin Hancock, Chairman & CEO of Hancock Lumber, has written two exceptional letters to Governor Mills and to DECD Commissioner Heather Johnson. We think these communications are thoughtful, reasonable, timely and they represent a lot of the sentiment we are hearing from our members.  We are asking members who agree with Kevin’s sentiments to sign on to a letter from a broad coalition of businesses (through the Maine Jobs Council) who generally support the points that he makes in the letters as a way for the Governor to further hear from the business community about this very impactful issue.

Click here for Kevin’s letters. The full context of his messages deserves your full attention, but the main points he makes includes:

  • The economic cost of the recovery period (May 1 – September 1) as currently outlined with the 14-day border crossing quarantine is going to be larger and more damaging than the original shutdown phase.  
  • The health risks of extended quarantine with social and economic restrictions likely outweigh the benefits.  
  • The Governor’s plan does not have broad based citizen support.  
  • The challenge (economically and socially) is not going to be getting people to continue to quarantine – it’s going to be to get them to come out and normalize.  
  • Making announcements about August is detrimental by any standard.
  • Questions whether anyone has assessed the economic and wellness costs of the extended quarantine plan? If so, what are they?  
  • Expectations that restrictions will be in place until September for a large, rural state with 400 active cases seems excessive and lacks the important messages of trust and confidence.  
  • It makes sense that any retail store that can meet the same distancing and capacity standards that Hannaford or Hancock Lumber meet today should be allowed to open now.
  • Companies like Hannaford or Hancock Lumber who have been operating effectively without face masks should not be required to add them now.  
  • Face masks send a very negative subliminal message, are likely less effective than 6’ distancing, and may not even be healthy in their own right for people working 8 – 10 hour days in retail.  
  • More confidence should be placed in the hands of private citizens to make good choices, social distance wherever possible, and restore greater economic normalcy faster. Maine citizens are capable of a faster economic recovery without any material impact on health and public safety. 

Time is of the essence and endorsing Kevin’s letters is an effective way to demonstrate the breadth of our concerns and make a real impact in Augusta.  If you would like to be added as a supporter, please email Michelle Thomas (mthomas@CrossAgency.com) by COB Monday with your name, title and company.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Brian or Tim.
DOT Secretary Chao Offers Thank-You to Truckers
May 1, 2020

Below is a link to a thank you video from Secretary Elaine L. Chao to the trucking workforce. During these challenging times, the men and women working in the motor carrier industry are on the frontlines performing essential work and Secretary Chao and the Trump Administration would like our industry to know that they appreciate all that you do.
Disposable Surgical Masks Available Through MMTA
Reprinted from April 30 - Supplies are Going Fast, Order Now if You Want Masks

Our industry’s frustration with procuring PPE during the pandemic has been well documented here in this e-newsletter. Initially, we were told to request PPE through the Maine CDC/EMA which we did, but to no avail. As a partial solution to our challenge, an MMTA member contacted us because they had access to ordering disposable surgical masks and wondered if we wanted to purchase some to make available to our members.

These 15,000 masks have arrived this morning and are now available to purchase at $0.56 each, plus tax and the cost to ship them to you if you choose. We reserve the right to limit the amount members order so as to make sure they are available to everyone who needs them – but only if you act quickly. If you have already ordered when the original PPE request notification was sent our in March e-newsletters you do not need to order again as your order and invoice are currently being processed.

PLEASE NOTE the original request to the State was for N95 masks and the ones we have on hand are disposable surgical masks that do not offer the same protection as N95 certified masks. But one of the things we have been hearing from members is that they would like to offer their drivers and other employees at least some minimal protection, even if it is a homemade or disposable mask.

To place an order for disposable surgical masks, click on the link HERE. You will be asked how you want to receive your masks – whether you want to pick them up at the MMTA office (restrictions apply), or you want us to ship them to you with your shipping information (your cost) or we will pay for shipping and invoice you for that amount.

IMPORTANT: If you take delivery of the disposable masks, your company assumes all liability for their use, protection and any exposure that might result from placing them in service. MMTA does not warranty anything about these masks – we are simply making them available for members and do not accept any risk associated with them whatsoever. If you and your company do not agree to these terms, please do not submit an order.

Finally, we have still not heard back from the State about our order for other PPE such as gloves, wipes and sanitizer. While it is looking unlikely that we will receive this needed PPE from the State, we will continue to look for private solutions and we will keep members posted if anything develops. In the interest of having one location for all of the information, we have developed a PPE Resources page that we will update as new information becomes available.

As indicated previously, MMTA’s objective is to provide members with resources to obtain PPE and we do not advocate for or sponsor any of the suppliers or equipment listed.
We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.