Container truck drivers are balking at new rates set by the provincial government

Port truckers angry with rates eye new strike

Container truck drivers to get less pay than expected under new reforms: Unifor

Container truckers voted unanimously Sunday to take strike action again if needed in response to the imposition of what they say are lower-than-promised rates to haul goods in and out of Port Metro Vancouver terminals.

Union and non-union truckers met Sunday in Surrey to discuss their next steps after talks Friday with Port Metro Vancouver’s CEO.

Truckers staged a 28-day strike last March that ended on government promises to reform the rate structure to halt rampant undercutting and stabilize the industry.

The province passed legislation in October to set minimum rates but only revealed them Dec. 15.

“They didn’t live up to their end of the bargain,” said Paul Johal, president of the Vancouver container truckers local of Unifor. “It was supposed to put money in our pockets but they’re taking money away from us.”

He estimates the shortfall on rates will add up to $50 a day less for employee drivers and $150 to $200 less for owner-operators.

Johal said truckers want a new meeting with federal and provincial government representatives to address their issues.

“If nothing happens we’re going to look at another shutdown – that’s the only choice we have left.”

Gavin McGarrigle, B.C. area director for Unifor, said both union and non-union drivers are “very disappointed” with the rates and said the province has effectively created new rate classes not previously envisioned with the effect of lower overall pay.

“We don’t want to go on strike but a deal is a deal,” McGarrigle said, noting Unifor members are still in a legal strike position.

The rate structure is complex, with different amounts for employee drivers versus owner-operators, options of paying per trip or per hour, minimum callout rates and rates for “off dock” movement of containers between points other than terminals.

Another concern is a new Port Metro Vancouver rule that as of 2019 only trucks less than 10 years old can access container terminals.

McGarrigle said federal officials have promised to review that change, which he said would be “punitive and discriminatory” because truckers would be forced to buy new vehicles more often.

Other changes made by the port and province are to bring a new licence system and reduce the number of trucks allowed to serve port terminals.

But McGarrigle said the new rate structure is the key sticking point, predicting it will mean continued industry instability.

Provincial government officials could not be reached for comment.

A transportation ministry release said the rate structure will provide “fair wages” for truckers to halt undercutting and delivers other improvements.

“It is a complicated situation and it has been hard to find a solution that pleases everyone,” it said.

Port Metro Vancouver spokesman John Parkert-Jervis said the port is proceeding to implement the new licence system.

“Planned reforms to the container trucking sector that serves Port Metro Vancouver are designed to bring stability to the port and a level of sophistication not seen in other ports,” he said.

Just Posted

Untrending: Welcome to the age of domotics

‘Smart home systems might even ensure a cleaned cat litter box.’

Work to start on Albion Community Centre next week

Politicians hold sod turning event on Saturday

Maple Ridge celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Ceremonies, music and dancing in Memorial Peace Park on Saturday

Burrards pull off blockbuster trade

Add elite NLL talent on offence and in goal

Tantalus says city holding up expansion

Pot grower says right to farm laws protect it from neighbour complaints

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Most Read