Back-to-work legislation will solve nothing in Metro Vancouver port dispute
March 19, 2014
VANCOUVER—BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s refusal to negotiate with container truck drivers and the introduction of forced-work legislation will only make matters worse in the port dispute, says Unifor.
“The minister can’t expect to stick his head in the sand and make this go away,” said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA). “A negotiated settlement is the only sustainable solution.”
After more than 18 months of failed negotiations, Unifor-VCTA members voted 100% in favour of a strike on March 1. Truck drivers have been raising concerns that long line-ups and wait times at the Port of Vancouver are costing truck drivers money and that rates agreed to in previous contract negotiations were not being honoured due to under-cutting.
“Stripping workers of their right to negotiate fair working conditions is not leadership,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President. “We’re actively seeking a resolution that works for everyone, but that can’t be done if the minister doesn’t take workers’ rights seriously.”
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.