Vancouver, BC — Unifor says efforts are paying off for container truck drivers in B.C.’s lower mainland as the provincial government introduced a suite of changes that will make work better for more than 1,700 truckers and help to stabilize the industry, according to the union.
“Few industries need regulation as badly as the container trucking industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It’s hard to overstate just how much wage theft our members have seen over the years from unethical employers. We welcome the Horgan government’s continued leadership on protecting hard-working container truckers.”
The provincial government is implementing the vast majority of recommendations in the B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner’s Rate and Remuneration report, including a 2 per cent wage rate hike and a commitment to mandate remuneration for all work-related driving by container truckers.
“Nobody should have to work for free,” said Unifor-Vancouver Container Trucker Association (Unifor-VCTA) president Paul Johal, referring to the unpaid movement of empty truck beds. “Unifor made a submission to the Commissioner’s rate review and impressed upon the government that fair rates will provide stability in Lower Mainland’s port trucking industry.”
Unifor says provincial regulation is a must in the industry, which has a long history of wage theft. Since the Container Trucking Act was introduced in 2014, more than $2.5 million in recovered wages and fines have been levied.
“Today’s announcement sets truckers on firm footing for collective bargaining this summer,” said Johal, who added that collective agreements expire on July 30.
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. Truckers went back to work after a plan was signed with the truckers, the Port, the BC government, and the federal government. The BC NDP government responded by increasing rates by 2.6 per cent in 2018, followed by today’s announcement of a 2 per cent increase effective June 1, 2019. Unifor said it is optimistic that after all of the new recommendations have been implemented by the Commissioner, further adjustments to the rate tables will also result in higher wages for container truckers.