Pickets went up this morning at Port Metro Vancouver, as unionized container truck drivers began job action.
Members voted 98 per cent in favour of rejecting Thursday’s tentative deal, joining hundreds of non-union drivers already off the job. This strike is expected to cripple port operations on the container truck side.
The union says the offer provided no stability to those who bring containers to the port, and drivers would still face long line-ups and poor wages.
“It’s going to have to be an overarching deal that puts an end to undercutting for once and for all,” said Gavin McGarrigle from Unifor. “And that’s going to take all the employers around the table to do that.”
“At the end of the day this structure needs to be formalized and put in place in such a way that there will be no more undercutting and there will be stability on the ports, which is what we want.”
Union truckers are set up at the ports and in front of Aheer Transport on River Road in Delta.
The labour dispute has already turned ugly, with allegations of brake lines being cut and rocks being thrown through the truck windows. Port Metro Vancouver says the business impact could be as high as 885 million dollars a week, and officials are also implementing tighter security measures at all facilities.
“There is, death threats are coming across,” said Manny Dosange from the United Truckers Association. “And threats to the families, and we don’t condone that either and we’re not just going to lay back and take it. We’re going to work with the authorities and address these issues.”
Port Metro Vancouver says it will continue to have security at all key locations and expand a court injunction to keep protesters off port property.