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

Man facing seven charges after alleged threats at Surrey restaurant

Surrey RCMP say incident at Whalley business was ‘very traumatic’ for customers and employees

Record turnout for Five Corners concert in White Rock

Abba/Elton John/Billy Joel salute attracts an estimated 4,500 people

Witchazel rocks again with CD of ‘Lost Tapes’ from band’s ’80s glory days

Surrey bar a stage for ‘Cancer Killer Rock Party’ on Aug. 30

Delta police secure 94 charges in dial-a-dope bust

Seven people with ties to the Red Scorpion gang are facing drug and firearm charges

Early success sees Clayton farmers’ market looking to grow

The first half of the season exceeded expectations, and now the market could go to once a week

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Most Read