Metro Vancouver Truckers to Continue Strike after Weekend Meeting

More than 2,000 container truck drivers serving the ports of Metro Vancouver have decided to continue their already two-week-long strike in a weekend meeting with representatives of the port and the provincial and federal governments, all of whom failed to make any progress.

Speaking about the meeting, the president of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA) that representing about 400 drivers, Paul Johal, revealed that the primary issue about minimum rates for all drivers have still not been addressed. He stated that “truckers understand the impact of the work stoppage, and we’re eager to find a speedy resolution.” He explained that “container truck drivers deserve more than minimum wage for waiting time.” All members of Unifor-VCTA unanimously voted to strike on March 1 in their last-minute meeting that took place in presence of a mediator, Vince Ready, who did not convince them to stop their job action. Unifor’s collective agreement with employers expired in June 2012 and it has failed to negotiate a new contract since then.

In a statement issued on Sunday, The president and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver, Robin Silvester, asked truckers to return to work immediately. Revealing that the port is ready to move on with a 14-point action plan drafted by the port in conjunction with the federal and provincial governments. He stated that “the goal is simple, to get Port Metro Vancouver back to full operations,” and added that “the action plan was facilitated by both Transport Canada and British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. It addresses concerns raised by truckers in areas such as compensation and wait times, and is a means to get port operations back to normal.”

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