UPDATE: Unionized truckers reject deal

UPDATE: Members of the Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA) voted 98 per cent to reject a tentative agreement brokered on Thursday by federally appointed mediator Vince Ready this afternoon.

“Our members have spoken: the deal was too little, too late,” said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-VCTA.

Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor area director for B.C. told Global News job action will begin on Monday.


Unionized truckers have tentatively accepted a deal with Port Metro Vancouver, alleviating the fears of a labour dispute that had threatened to shut down the port.

The union is recommending its membership vote in favour of the deal, and a vote will take place sometime before Saturday. However, protests by non-unionized truckers will continue until the vote is held and the deal is ratified.

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Negotiations had taken place since 9 o’clock this morning in an effort to avoid a full strike. Veteran mediator Vince Ready held a six-hour meeting behind closed doors.

The truckers had been in a legal strike position as of noon today.

“We have paused our strike picketing actions,” said Gavin McGarrigle with Unifor. “Because we have now reached this agreement that we will be taking to our membership, as a sign of good faith we will not be raising any picket lines over the next two days at the ports or anywhere else.”

It was announced a set of recommendations was reached.  However, there is no information on the nature of these recommendations.

Unionized workers served 72-hour strike notice earlier this week, after their non-unionized counterparts withdrew service. The drivers are demanding improvements to long wait times at the port, along with better pay and standardized rates.

In a release Port Metro Vancouver stated operations have been severely impacted due to the actions of protesting truckers who have concerns about wages, working conditions and wait times at port terminals. “We are optimistic the initiation of this review will accelerate the process of reaching solutions to address systemic problems that have plagued this industry for many years,” says Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver.

How will a strike affect you? BC1’s Sonia Sunger talks to Bob Kirk, the executive director of the Canadian Apparel Foundation:

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.

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– With files from the Canadian Press

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