Wren spoke to a gathering of the ATA's Safety Management Council in Houston Tuesday and put aside planned remarks on politics and highway safety to talk about relations between the safety council and ATA.
"Some good people employed by non-ATA members must leave because their employers won't join the ATA," he said, referring to the new requirement that companies that participate in any ATA constituent organization must first be members of ATA itself.
But if anyone was hoping for concessions on the part of the ATA chairman, they were disappointed. Speaking directly to affected members in the audience, Wren said, "I'm sorry it's happening to you." Beyond that, Wren offered no olive branch to nonmembers. "There should be no resentment in the management of those companies," he said. ATA's work benefits the entire industry, he said, and all carriers should join in the effort. Wren stressed that under the new dues structure, ATA membership was now "affordable" by all.
No figures were available Tuesday on the number of safety management council members affected by the new ATA rules. Other councils have expressed concerns with the new policy, particularly The Maintenance Council, many members of which are not trucking companies.