Wednesday, December 17, 2014

US Trucking Groups Support Veterans as Road Haulage Freight Firm Collects Award

In a Week When Thousands of Wreaths were Delivered to Graves Patriot Award Goes to Personnel Supervisor
Shipping News Feature

US – It is true to say that nobody supports their country’s military veterans more enthusiastically than American trucking companies, particularly the larger outfits. The Con-way group employs nearly 2,700 military service veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and this month an employee of the less than truckload (LTL) subsidiary, Con-way Freight, was presented with the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award. David Nieder is Personnel Supervisor at the road haulage outfit’s Marshfield, Missouri service centre having been put forward by a colleague.

Nieder was nominated for the award by Con-way Freight Dockworker and Marine Corps Reservist Michael McCoy to recognise the ongoing support Nieder and Con-way Freight has provided him since joining the company last year. McCoy is a fourth generation Marine and will be working to advance his career with Con-way Freight by becoming a professional driver through the company’s driver training school programme. He plans to enrol in the school when the next session begins in January. He commented:

“I joined the US Marine Corps Reserves in 2012 and since then, Con-way Freight has been the most supportive company I’ve worked for. Since day one, Dave and the team have made me feel proud of my service and secure in my job. It makes a huge difference knowing they are behind me 100% and are helping me successfully balance both my military service needs and career.”

The Patriot Award was created by ESGR, a Department of Defense office, to publicly recognise employers who believe in a strong National Guard and Reserve. Employers qualify for recognition when they demonstrate leadership and promote personnel policies that encourage employee participation in the Guard and Reserve. David Nieder was somewhat taken back when told of the award, he said:

“Supporting our nation’s servicemen and women is part of our culture at Con-way Freight. I never expected an award for working with Michael to help meet his service requirements, it’s just something we do, something that all employers should do. We all appreciate his service to our country and his smart work on the job and I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Con-way Freight offers its employee-soldiers pay differentials and uninterrupted health benefits for their families during the first year of a deployment. The company’s human resources representatives maintain contact with soldiers’ families to ensure that they understand all available benefits, while employee volunteers also provide outreach to families, assisting them with everyday challenges such as home maintenance, auto repairs and snow removal.

For employees on active duty, the company sends care packages full of items like soap, shampoo and magazines. Upon return from active duty, employees are reinstated to the same or equal job, pay and grade level. If an employee needs to move for a returning job, the company pays relocation expenses. To help employees readjust to civilian duty, Con-way’s Employee Assistance Program provides access to counselling through the company’s health benefit plans.

Photo: Last week also saw a tribute to fallen heroes as Saturday December 13 was ‘National Wreaths Across America Day’. Haulage group Schneider delivered truckloads of wreaths to the Houston National Cemetery to be placed upon US veterans’ tombstones as a sign of appreciation for their service.