Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spoken out against the current trucking strikes being held across the city of Vancouver as drivers complain over long waiting times and low pay rates.
Responding to questions at a business audience in the city, Harper stated that it was “not acceptable to have relatively small numbers of people blocking what is important trade for a range of British Colombian and Canadian businesses.”
The announcement comes after 1,000 non-unionised truck drivers began holding strikes on February 26th to protest against the lengthy loading/drop off times at Port Metro Vancouver.
Since then, Unifor-VCTA members have joined the strike at a number of picket lines throughout the city, preventing access to the port.
It was hoped that a deal thrashed out last Thursday between union members and Vince Ready, a government approved mediator in a bid to stop the strikes, would prove fruitful. However, the talks have since collapsed.
In 2005, when the truckers last protested against low wages, the strikes continued for as many as 47 days at a loss of $400 million to PMV.