St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and there may be a shortage of Guinness. The strike action by container truck drivers at Port Metro Vancouver has caused a beer supply shortage in the region – a sobering reality for merchants and businesses. Many bars have been saving their beer supplies, such as Guiness, in anticipation of a four-day St. Patrick’s Day binge.
According to Port Metro Vancouver, upwards of 90 per cent of the container truck traffic is stuck at port facilities.
The whole ordeal could prove to be costly to businesses as they are unable to get their product out into market. They are also responsible for port storage fees, a cost that could grow into the thousands of dollars per week as long as their shipments remain at the port due to the strike.
400 unionized container truck drivers joined their 1,400 non-unionized counterparts by walking off the job early Monday morning. They are demanding a new framework agreement that addresses immediate monetary concerns, long wait times and line-ups at the port, and the penalties that are placed upon them if they are late or miss pick-ups.
“We agree that truckers should be paid a fair wage, but bargaining relating to employment and contract relationships can only be done with the employer or the parties to the contract. Port Metro Vancouver is not the employer and is not party to the contract relationships,” said Port Metro Vancouver President and CEO Robin Silvester.
Port Metro Vancouver says the strike will cost the economy $885-million per week. The last truckers’ strike in 2005 also put a large dent in business coffers and the economy after it went on for 47 days.
Beer via shutterstock