March 27, 2014 - Container truck drivers servicing Port Metro Vancouver are expected to return to work on Thursday morning after reaching a deal to end a prolonged strike. Late Wednesday afternoon, B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced an agreement was reached between the members of the United Truckers Association and Unifor and the province, the federal government and Port Metro Vancouver. B.C. Premier Christy Clark, warned that the dispute was jeopardizing the country’s economy.
Container shipping at Port Metro’s four terminals had been cut by about 90 per cent after 250 unionized truckers went on strike March 10, joining 1,000 non-unionized truckers who walked off the job in February. The dispute left hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cargo stranded at Vancouver-area container terminals and both Clark and Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned the dispute was jeopardizing the economy. The dispute between the truckers and the port largely focused on issues related to pay, including rates, unpaid time spent at the port waiting for cargo, and allegations of undercutting within the industry.
The province introduced back-to-work legislation earlier this week that would have affected the unionized workers, but the government is now scrapping it. As part of the agreement reached Wednesday, the port will rescind any licence suspension introduced during the strike. The federal government will also implement a 12 per-cent hike in round-trip rates and a $25.13 minimum rate for hourly drivers. Port Metro Vancouver also committed to consulting with the trucking industry on an overhaul of the current port licensing system in order “to create a more stable trucking industry.”
Source: CBC News