The port strike may soon be at its end with the striking truckers being forced back to work. The B.C. Government has announced back to work legislation against the 400 Unifor truck driving members on strike at the Port of Vancouver since March 10.
The Port then announced that they will not be renewing licenses for the 1,200-1,400 independent-operator truckers that have been on strike since February 26.
According to a media release on March 19th, Port Metro Vancouver will not be renewing licenses or permits in the current system that are soon to expire. In particular, today the port will be notifying 100-150 of those with licenses and permits that expire at the end of March and the end of April that their TLS licenses or permits will not be renewed.
“We expect everyone with a license or permit to be at work tomorrow,” continued Silvester “I cannot imagine why we would issue future licenses or permits under the new licensing system to truck drivers who are not at work tomorrow.”
Container traffic increases to 40% after ultimatum
The volume of container truck transactions on March 20, was nearly 40 per cent of normal. It is the highest level since the trucking disruption began.
“Decisive action was announced yesterday and there are clearly truckers willing to service the port,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver.
The trucking disruption is affecting the movement of containers by truck to and from Port Metro Vancouver’s four container terminals. In general, 70 per cent of containers arrive and depart Port Metro Vancouver container terminals by rail and 30 per cent by truck.
Image: Angie Holubowich @angholu
“I understand the frustration of the truckers. These are hard working men and women that are also trying to put food on the table for their family,” said Todd Stone B.C. minister of transport.
We share the concerns of all Canadians who want a quick end to the work stoppage by truckers. The new Truck Licensing system should help.
— Port Metro Vancouver (@PortMetroVan) March 19, 2014
Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and trades $172 billion in goods annually with more than 160 trading economies, generating across Canada an estimated 100,000 jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP.
Protest at Canada Place
UPDATE: At noon on March 21, a massive protest at Canada Place has been planned using trucks and shipping containers.
Live from Vancouver: truckers rally in front of welcome centre at Canada Place, downtown Vancouver pic.twitter.com/rKsir6nj8x
— Todays Trucking (@Todaystrucking) March 21, 2014
— Meg Gill (@MeaganGraceGill) March 21, 2014
— Murray Titus (@Choppermurman) March 21, 2014
Big trucks with Unifor flags around Canada Place as truckers protest back to work legislation, seek negotiations. pic.twitter.com/cAfhx1RR1S
— Justin Giovannetti (@justinCgio) March 21, 2014
… And across the street port metro van truckers protest outside Canada Place. pic.twitter.com/DLngBCjuo1
— Sam Smith (@JournalistSam) March 21, 2014
Timeline of events
Timeline of events according to Port Metro Vancouver Website:
Steps taken by Port Metro Vancouver to facilitate operations:
- On March 19, 2014, Port Metro Vancouver announced the acceleration of reforms to the Port’s Truck Licensing System. Changes come after months of consultation and are expected to create a more stable trucking industry.
- On March 14, The trucking disruption is affecting the movement of containers by truck to and from Port Metro Vancouver’s four container terminals. In general, 50% of containers arrive and depart Port Metro Vancouver container terminals by rail, and 50% by truck.
- On March 13, the Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia and Port Metro Vancouver collectively agreed to a 14-point Joint Action Plan. With the implementation of the plan we expect an immediate and full return to work by truck drivers.
- On March 11, 2014, Port Metro Vancouver was granted a continuation and expansion of our injunction to keep protestors off Port property.
- We are continuing a program implemented last week of placing security personnel in working trucks to record events and assist drivers wanting to access Port terminals.
- We have enhanced the presence of security at key locations and access points for traffic headed to or from the Port.
Image: Port Metro Vancouver Twitter
Featured Image: Angie Holubowich @angholu