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Port Metro Vancouver strike threat

Jan. 22, 2015 — After meeting with Unifor and other truck driver representatives, BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone has committed to taking another look at the regulations introduced for the Container Trucking Act.

"There has been a lot of progress towards standardizing the sector work for truckers and their clients," said Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor. "But without the implementation of the wage rates signed off by Premier Clark last spring, that progress threatens to come to a halt."

Minister Stone and federal Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt met with Unifor and other driver representatives at the Port Metro Vancouver head offices last week in an attempt to find an agreement that would keep the ports open. Container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks in March 2014 as a result of undercutting by trucking companies and long wait times at the Port.

Truckers went back to work after a Joint Action Plan was signed with the truckers, the Port, the BC government, and the federal government. But truck drivers say that proposals for pay cuts tabled on December 15 by the BC government threaten to undo the agreement that has kept the Port open since April.

At Thursday's meeting, Unifor representatives made a detailed presentation about the implications of the pay cuts. Minister Stone said that he would review the regulations before the new Truck Licencing System is scheduled to be implemented on February 1st.

"As it stands, the government's pay schedule takes money out of truckers' pockets and violates the deal that I watched the Premier sign last spring," said Paul Johal, President of Unifor's container truck drivers local and a driver himself. "We simply want what was promised when we ended the 2014 port protests."