Hundreds of truckers from across the BC’s Lower Mainland will undertake a work stoppage and protest today demand action on issues ranging from waiting times to pay-rate enforcement. According to BC’s largest union representing container truckers, if governments and the Port Authority don’t develop firm commitments to begin addressing the truckers’ concerns, the work stoppage could escalate.
“We’ve seen this story before, too many times. Truckers shut down the Vancouver ports in 1999 and 2005 because government and the ports wouldn’t listen,” said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA). “Container truckers are tired of lip-service and demand real changes and real solutions.”
Unifor and other associations have been in dialogue with the Port Authority for months to raise concerns that long wait times at the Port of Vancouver were costing truck drivers money. The truckers are also demanding a standardized and enforced rate of pay that covers all drivers at the ports and puts an end to under-cutting for once and for all.
“We’re calling on both levels of government and the port authorities to sit down and work with truckers towards a real solution,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC Area Director. “Organized action by truckers can be very disruptive to the Port’s viability as a centre for stable trade.”
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector.