BC Lawsuit Launched Over Retroactive Port Driver Pay
Posted: February 17, 2016 by Today's Trucking Staff
VANCOUVER, BC – Ten Vancouver container trucking companies say they were shut out of talks that resulted in new minimum rates being retroactively applied for port trucking services. Now, the companies are taking the BC government and Port Metro to court to avoid ponying up the cash.
Container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks in March 2014 as a result of wage undercutting by trucking companies and long wait times at the Port. Drivers went back to work after a deal was signed. But it’s a deal that the companies say they weren’t part of.
“Undercutting in this sector has always been a problem and now we see clearly which truck company owners want to continue to drive wages down,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC area director, in a statement to media. “Shippers now need to play their part toward stability by refusing to do business with these companies who refuse to treat their drivers fairly,” he added. “The provincial government needs to mount a vigorous defense of its own legislation to make sure that truckers receive the full payment of all wages owed.”
In the companies’ complaint to the BC Supreme Court, they state that “contracts between the petitioners and their customers in respect of this period were agreed, performed and completed before the regulation came into force,” leaving the companies with “no ability to recover from their customers the additional costs they are now being required to bear … while the truckers who were engaged to provide the services under those contracts will receive a windfall over and above the rates that they voluntarily agreed to provide their services for at the time,” the complaint states.
The trucking companies claim they can’t authorize retroactive application of minimum rates for drivers provided before the Container Trucking Act was implemented.