Vancouver truckers strike comes to a close


The offices of the Prime Minister and the Vancouver premier have announced that an agreement has been reached between Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) and striking truck drivers following a month of service disruption.

The strikes began on February 26th when 1,000 non-unionised truck drivers, represented by the United Truckers Association (UTA), began picketing for increases in pay and speedier loading times.

A further 300 Unifor-VCTA joined the strike on March 10th.

It is believed that since the strikes formation, nearly CAN$885 millions worth of container traffic has been affected each week, with a number of container carriers seeking alternative modes of transport.

A fourteen-point proposal was brought forward by federal transport minister Lisa Raitt, after independently appointed reviewers were called in with the hopes of stifling the protests.

However the striking parties quickly dismissed this, finding the terms supplied to be inadequate.

The newly released terms, which are adaptions of the original fourteen, now seem to have been accepted as suitable by both parties. This includes the return of licences’ revoked over the course of the strikes, a 12 percent pay-rise in roundtrip rates and a $25.13 minimum hourly rate.

PMV immediately showed their support for the new agreement seeing it as the best way to end the dispute, and have promised to consult drivers in the overhaul of current port licensing systems to help create a more stable trucking industry.

The news came after a news conference at the provincial legislature in Victoria, organised by the UTA and Unifor, was delayed a number of times early last Wednesday due to meetings with transport officials and PMV.

Speaking to CBC, Iqbal Grewal, a member of the UTA stated that the settlement was now coming to a close.

The province was planning to bring in back-to-work legislation earlier in the week if the strike had not come to a close, but the government has swiftly discarded this, stating “with the agreement, the Government of BC is not proceeding with pending legislation that would have ordered a cooling off period in the Unifor job action.”

Works are scheduled to continue today, with the plan scheduled to be fully enforced within the next 90 days.

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