Container truck drivers were supposed to be paid higher rates after a restructuring of the industry that flowed from a month-long strike in 2014.

Stone warns defiant trucking firms to pay drivers

Sanctions coming to at least six 'rogue' companies that could lose access to Port Metro Vancouver container terminals

Six container trucking companies that defied provincial orders to pay their drivers higher legislated rates as well as retroactive pay got a stern warning Tuesday from Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The six companies flagged in an audit haven’t yet been identified but Stone said they face potentially severe sanctions unless they pay what may add up to millions of dollars in back wages.

Another 13 trucking companies are being audited and could also be penalized if they’re found to have failed to pay the required rates.

“A couple of the companies that have been notified have paid what they owed their truckers,” Stone said. “Others have opted not to, for reasons known only to them at this point. But there will be sanctions for all six of these companies.”

He said the sanctions against the companies could range from fines to suspension of their licence to access the port to an outright ban from port terminals.

The higher rates and retroactive pay legislated by the province were part of a new licensing system imposed to stabilize the port trucking industry after a month-long strike in 2014.

Stone’s comments came after the container trucking commissioner appointed by the province earlier in the year resigned Sept. 15 amid accusations he did not do enough to enforce rate compliance.

The Office of the Container Trucking Commissioner continues to function while a replacement is recruited, Stone said, and staff there are determining appropriate sanctions.

Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle said the “rogue” trucking firms have left many of the region’s 1,500 container truck drivers with less pay than promised.

One firm with 90 drivers owes them an average of $15,000 each, he said.

McGarrigle said shippers have been paying higher rates to the trucking firms, which have been pocketing the difference saved from underpaying drivers.

“It’s a tonne of money and it’s led to a lot of instability,” said McGarrigle, who is calling for stiff sanctions. “Some of the worst offenders should be kicked right out of the port.”

Meanwhile, the union has filed a court challenge against what it calls the inconsistent application of emission regulations.

Unifor says Port Metro Vancouver banned the use of trucks older than 10 years old even though the port continues to operate older trucks itself.

Just Posted

Friends of ‘Mac’ rally to fund young family left behind by former martial arts teacher in Surrey

‘He’s well loved,’ says operator of Fraser Heights academy where Mackenzie MacWilliams studied, worked

Police food drive to help feed North Delta kids

Donations collected will go support the Rotary Club’s Starfish Pack program

Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

‘Inventive ideas’ sought soon for Surrey One Act Festival, set to return to Whalley stage

Also planned by Royal Canadian Theatre Company is a Five Minute Play Writing Challenge

U.S. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into Canada, granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

VIDEO: Highway One to be widened east to 264th Street in Fraser Valley

The $235 million project includes upgrades to overpasses and a rail bridge

Most Read

l -->