Representatives from the Vancouver Port Authority, Fraser River Port Authority, Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA) and owners’ representatives, took part in an informational meeting on July 6 with Vince Ready the facilitator appointed to settle the strike by the VCTA.
At issue was the VCTA’s request that the ports pay compensation directly to the truckers, that the ports restrict access to VCTA members only, and that the ports enforce any agreement between the employers and the truckers.
“The port has a strong interest in seeing this dispute resolved, but it is not a party to this dispute. The present dispute is between the VCTA and a group of approximately 60 companies in the shipping business. The port is not involved in any negotiations or agreements between the VCTA and those companies,” said Captain Chris Badger, Vice President of Customer Development and Operations.
Other key points made by the port include;
o The port does not establish tariffs or pay for the movement of containers, or any other product, by truck in or out of the port. Those rates must be established and agreed to by the employer and the truck operator.
o The port cannot restrict access to a particular group of truckers, as it would be discriminatory to do so.
o The port has no legal authority to establish tariffs or rates for the movement of containers, or to enforce any such arrangement. Any such action would be beyond its jurisdiction.
“The Port of Vancouver is very concerned about the impact of this dispute. We are encouraged by the involvement of Vince Ready, as well as by the plans of the federal government to establish an inquiry into the dispute. The port is ready and willing to cooperate with those initiatives, but it must be recognized that the port is not a party to the dispute,” said Badger.
The container sector is responsible for about $2.8 billion in total annual economic activity British Columbia and Canada. The estimated loss in economic output is estimated at approximately $30 million every week.
The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest and most diversified port, trading more than $43 billion in goods with more than 90 trading economies annually. Port activities generate 69,200 jobs in total with $4 billion in Gross Domestic Product and $8.9 billion in economic output.