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

Road safety plan in the works for Surrey

Council to consider hosting ‘Vision Zero’ summit in new year

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

City of Surrey looks to reduce building permit wait times

Staff targeting a 10-week average processing time

Surrey considers 75% discount on senior rec passes, drop-in admission

Council to vote Monday on proposal to deeply discount rates for residents over 70

‘A promise is a promise’: Cloverdale lantern festival opens, two months late

After months of delays due to permit issues and uncooperative weather, Art of Lights finally opens

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read

l -->