Truckers threaten to strike again if agreement is not followed
Unionized container truckers say they will walk off the job again at Port Metro Vancouver if the government doesn’t follow an agreement about pay rates.
They voted in favour of the measure at a meeting yesterday in Surrey.
The truckers went on strike in March of this year, in a dispute around rate undercutting and long delays to load and unload containers. The prolonged strike left a serious impact on many local businesses.
They went back to work after a negotiated settlement between the port, the provincial and federal governments.
However, they say the terms are not being followed.
Gavin McGarrigle, BC Area Director for Unifor, says they saw an overwhelming turnout of members and a unanimous vote.
“The truckers have a very simple demand – respect the joint action plan that was negotiated in March,” says McGarrigle. “That’s what was supposed to bring stability to the sector.”
McGarrigle says there are very clear round-trip rates set out in it, but the government has not lived up to the agreement.
“It was supposed to be put in place within 30 days, but eight months later, we see that we’ve had the rates being undercut. We’ve heard today that the truck drivers are not going to stand for it,” he says.
The next step for the truckers is to hold meetings with the authorities and reach out, but McGarrigle says they will take action if necessary.
“Truck drivers do not want to be taking strike action. They want to feed their families, but at the end of the day, a deal is a deal,” he adds.