July 25, 2018 3:53 pm
Updated: July 25, 2018 5:20 pm

Convoy of truckers head to Lloydminster looking for a sit-down with CNRL

Transport trucks parked at a truck stop.

Joe Raedle/Newsmakers/Getty Images

There was quite a sight on Highway 16 in eastern Alberta on Wednesday, as close to a 100 big rigs hit the road bound for Lloydminster, hoping for a sit-down with Canadian Natural Resources Limited.

Organizer Andrew Bikowsky spoke with 630CHED’s Ryan Jespersen from the road. He said contract truckers like him have been struggling ever since the 2008 economic crash.

“That day we took about a 30 per cent cut, which is significant. Ever since then our cost of living has gone up because of, well, you know, the carbon tax and of course nothing else has changed in regards to mechanic shops, the cost of tires — our fuel costs have gone drastically up.”

WATCH: Truckers hold rally to protest job losses

He said contract truckers need better rates from CNRL if they’re going to survive.

And with costs going up, too many truckers are “one breakdown away” from going under, Bikowsky said.

“We’ve all be waiting for a miracle for CNRL and all these other oil companies to finally have a little bit of integrity and to give us back, not what we want but what we need to continue on in this industry,” he said.

“And we’ve been waiting and waiting and nothing has been happening.”

Bikowsky said they want the 30 per cent cut they took restored.

LISTEN BELOW: Andrew Bikowsky speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen

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He said CNRL should know how important truckers are to their business.

“With having this many guys out of the field, they’re obviously going to have a lot of fluid that isn’t going to be moving, it could potentially cost them millions of dollars.”

An e-mailed statement from CNRL read:

We have a competitive process for truck servicing firms to bid for work locally in support of our operations. We have ongoing meetings without our truck servicing firms and we encourage independent contractors to work with their employers to bring forward their concerns to us. We are committed to working together with our truck servicing firms to work through these concerns.

We will continue working together with our service providers on our shared challenges to achieve our mutual goal of a strong future for Canada’s oil and natural gas industry.

– With files from Morgan Smith, 630 CHED

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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