September 14, 2017
Vancouver—An arbitrator has upheld the Container Trucking Act’s wage floor, resulting in $90k in combined damages assessed to trucking companies Aheer Ltd and Sunlover Ltd.
“Yet again, the greediest trucking companies have failed to suppress wages by looking for loopholes in the Container Trucking Act,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The companies that think they are above the law should be banned from the industry.”
Since the Act was introduced in 2014, Unifor has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to drivers and the Container Truck Commissioner has ordered payment of fines and over $2.3 million in wages. Several companies have made unsuccessful challenges to the legality of the collective agreements and the industry’s legislated wage floor.
“One in three trucking companies has been cited for violating the law. Although millions of dollars in back pay has been awarded, wage undercutting is still a major problem in the industry,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC Area Director. “Industry-wide bargaining is the main solution to ensure stability at the port.”
Container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks in March 2014 as a result of wage undercutting by trucking companies and long wait times. Truckers went back to work after a Joint Action Plan was signed with Unifor, the Port, the BC government, and the federal government. Unifor says that the BC Liberal government failed to properly enforce the agreement, something the BC NDP promised to resolve during the May 2017 provincial election.
Arbitrator James Dorsey issued one of the highest ever non-compensatory damage awards and will likely be cited as an important case going forward, making future challenges by trucking companies almost guaranteed to fail.
The full decision can be found at unifor.org/en/arbitration-decision-unifor-vcta-v-aheer-and-sunlover
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at @email or 778-903-6549 (cell).