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Toronto dump truckers stage protest

Several hundred dump truckers attended the rally

TORONTO -- Hundreds of Toronto-area dump-truck operators stopped working Thursday and organizers say they’ll remain idle until they can renegotiate better rates.

Most of the truckers are owner-operators and most are members of the one-year-old Ontario Dump Truck Association.

The President of the Association, Gary Grewal, told todaystrucking.com that the drivers—most of whom work for construction companies on building projects—are being paid rates established five years ago.

Operating costs since that time, he said, have soared and now truckers are asking the Associated Earthmovers of Ontario to renegotiate the base rates.

Our calls to the Earthmovers have not yet been returned.

Joe Vaccaro, the Vice President Policy and Government Relations for Ontario’s Building Industry and Land Development Association said that as far as he’s concerned the issue is between the contractors and the truckers but he hopes the situation is resolved soon. “As far as I’m concerned it’s a one-day event and if it starts affecting our members, we’ll certainly react accordingly.”

Randy Bharat, another of the organizers of the job action, said his family owns 10 trucks and that he is not losing money by joining the rally—in fact he’s saving money because these days, dump truckers are operating at a loss.

The going rate for dump trucks, he says, is $75 per hour, and it was established five years ago. He said that the earthmovers’ association has offered a $5-an-hour rate increase, but it would go into affect in July. “By that time, fuel will have gone up even more.” he said.

Other drivers at the rally said they were concerned about pressure to overload their dumps beyond their capacity as well as other workplace safety issues.

The rally began on a piece of property at the corner of Derry and Dixie Roads in Mississauga. At 10:00 a.m. Thursday, a convoy of about 150 dump trucks left the property and in a very orderly manner travelled across Derry Road to the 410, south on the 410 to the 401, east to the Don Valley Parkway, down the DVP to the Gardiner, west to the 427 and then back to the marshalling yard on Derry.

Watch www.todaystrucking.com for updates

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Strike dump trucks