After a month of operational disruptions, Port Metro Vancouver and striking truckers have reached an agreement in principle that will end the strike action.
A 14-point Joint Action Plan first put forward by the federal and provincial governments two weeks ago was refined during the latest negotiations. This comes after earlier ultimatums set by the provincial government’s proposal to table back-to-work legislation and another threat by Port Metro Vancouver to not renew the licenses of striking truck drivers.
The truck drivers do not work for Port Metro Vancouver and are employed through private contractors. 1,400 non-union truck drivers from the United Truckers’ Association of B.C. went off the job on February 26 and were joined by another 400 unionized truck drivers from Unifor on March 10. At one point, 90 per cent of the container truck traffic was stuck at port facilities.
Businesses that were unable to retrieve their goods from the containers racked up daily port storage fees from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
“All of us at Port Metro Vancouver recognize the ongoing trucking dispute has been a difficult time for truck drivers as well as the families and businesses that rely on the port,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver “We agree truckers deserve fair compensation. We are also confident the 14-point Joint Action Plan as put forward by the federal and provincial governments, with Port Metro Vancouver, will deliver fair compensation.”
Silvester notes that Port Metro Vancouver will work towards improving terminal wait times and agrees that it is a valid issue. However, he is concerned with the reports of violence and vandalism involving local truck drivers.
“We are concerned about alarming reports of physical violence, threats, and vandalism involving local truckers. These include reports of shootings, threats to drivers and their families, assaults, vandalism and sabotage, as well as rocks thrown through windows and concrete dropped from overpasses onto passing trucks,” said Silvester.
“Trucking companies are telling us their drivers are too scared to work. This behaviour is unacceptable. All reported incidents are under investigation by the various police departments and we encourage anyone with any information to please call police.”
Featured Image: Port Metro Vancouver via Shutterstock