Canadian Strike Ends; Truckers Are Back to Work at Vancouver Port
Canadian Trucker Strike
Canadian container truck drivers at Port Metro Vancouver went back to work March 27 after a prolonged strike that paralyzed Canada's largest port for nearly a month. In late February 1,000 non-union truckers walked off the job protesting pay rates, unpaid cargo wait time and alleged industry undercutting.
Nearly 250 union truckers joined the strike in March, bringing container shipping to a near halt. The strike produced a groundswell of support from truckers across Canada with demonstrations across the country. With cargo worth hundreds of millions of dollars stranded at Vancouver container terminals, the dispute threatened to jeopardize Canada's economy.
Just days before the strike ended, frustrated British Columbia legislators introduced back-to-work legislation that would have impacted union workers, but scrapped it when the Port reached an agreement with the United Truckers Association and Unifor.
The Agreement Highlights
According to CBC News, the main points of the agreement include:
- 12% increase in round trip rates which will apply to the moving of all containers, both full and empty.
- An increase in the minimum hourly rate for drivers to $25.13 during the first year of hire and $26.28 after one year of service.
- 2% increase in the fuel surcharge multiplier to 14%.
- Implementation of an extended hours pilot program during high volume periods.
- Waiving of gate fees during the occurrence of excessive terminal delays.
- Payment to truckers of a cargo wait time fee after one hour instead of two with the fee increasing with the amount of wait time.
- Licenses suspended during the strike were reinstated, and the Port agreed to work with the container trucking industry to overhaul the port licensing system and its license auditing program.