After meeting with representatives of the port and the provincial and federal governments, container truck drivers say that basic concerns about minimum rates for all drivers have still not been addressed.
“Truckers understand the impact of the work stoppage, and we’re eager to find a speedy resolution,” said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA). “Container truck drivers deserve more than minimum wage for waiting time.”
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.
“We’re prepared to negotiate around the clock to end this dispute,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC Area Director. “We’ve been trying for eight years to resolve these issues, and a negotiated agreement is the only sustainable solution. After that length of time, the port’s ‘trust us’ approach simply isn’t enough for our members.”
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.