Vancouver Truckers, Port Reach Deal, End Strike
VANCOUVER, BC — Container truckers servicing Port Metro Vancouver are going back to work Thursday morning, ending a 28-day work strike.
On Wednesday afternoon, the governments of Canada and BC, the port, members of the United Truckers Association and Unifor reached an agreement.
"This is without a doubt the most complicated set of bargaining I've been," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias told the Tyee at a press conference. "Trying to get agreement is difficult, but you get agreement when there's leadership,” he said.
But not everyone's happy with the deal.
Suzanne Wentt, owner of Indian River Transport told Today's Trucking in an email: "This whole thing has been handled poorly from the beginning and the solution was handled just as poorly. Huge increases have been given to the drivers with no input from the owners with respect to what the market can bare and no input from the customers."
Wentt said the agreement will "ultimately cost these drivers jobs because they may have priced themselves out of the market."
Federal mediator Vince Ready will stay on to meet with all parties including UTA and Unifor leaders. Provincial governement will not continue with back-to-work legislation.
As part of the agreement, the port will cancel any licence suspension introduced during the strike, the federal government will raise minimum rates by 12 percent, bringing them to $25.13 per hour.
- The port will drop the legal suit against UTA and will cancel license suspensions for drivers where no criminal charges were laid.
- Federal government will increase “Ready Rates” by 12 percent; the rates will apply to all moves of containers regardless of whether they are full or empty. Drivers will get a minimum rate of $25.13 per hour and $26.28 after one year.
- Provincial government will work with unions and carriers to renew collective agreements.
- Fuel surcharges paid to drivers will increase from one percent to two percent and owner-operators will get 14 percent fuel surcharge when they return to work.
- Provincial government will implement and enforce regular audits for all trucking companies and individual drivers servicing the port.
- Provincial government and port will put together a “whistleblower mechanism” to report compliance concerns.
Port will reform the truck licensing system by:
- Limit the number of licensed trucks;
- Start a security deposit program for trucking companies;
- License charges on trucking companies (to fund improvements in compliance, licensing system, GPS and other technology).
- Greater accountability on trucking companies to comply with rate and employment agreements.
- Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver will have an extended-hours pilot project by March 31, 2014 that will be responsive to volume forecasts.
- The Terminal Gate Compliance Fee will be waived when excessive delays are encountered at a terminal.
- Federal government and port will roll out of the next phase of the GPS project to outfit the balance of the trucking fleet with GPS technology.
- Port will improve reservation system.
- Port will pay $50 per trip for time spent waiting at Port terminals (Deltaport, Fraser Surrey Docks, Vanterm, Centerm) after 90 minutes of waiting time. At two hours of waiting time, an additional $25 fee will be paid per trip. At two and half hours of waiting time, an additional $25 fee will be paid per trip. Each additional half hour will be paid at a rate of $20.
- A steering committee will be formed to ensure the new agreement is followed.
- Vince Ready will make recommendations on all points in the action plan, which will be reviewed, finalized and acted upon within 90 days of a return to work.
- Unifor and the UTA agree to return to work.