During his visit to Vancouver on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, alleged that it is unacceptable for striking truck drivers to delay shipments at the country’s largest port in Vancouver. However, Mr. Harper did confess that it was up to the provincial government to deal with the conflict.
The long-going labor dispute at the port, i.e. a gateway to fast-growing Asian markets, intensified this week almost the same time when Mr. Harper signed a free trade agreement with South Korea aimed at boosting Canadian exports to Asia. Addressing a business audience in Vancouver, Mr. Harper was inquired about his comments on the strike, to which he stated that “this is obviously a big problem” and “as I understand it, unfortunately the labor disputes here are really under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, not ours, but we are concerned about this.” Unionized container truck drivers have set up picket lines at the Vancouver port since Monday, in order to join hundreds of nonunion workers who walked off the job last month in a dispute over pay and services.