Striking truckers at Port Metro Vancouver were expected to be back at work this past Thursday, after B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced an agreement in principle was reached between the members of the United Truckers Association and Unifor and the province, the federal government and Port Metro Vancouver. Container shipping at Port Metro’s four terminals had been reduced to a trickle after unionized and non-unionized truckers had walked off the job in February and March in a dispute over pay and waiting time.
The dispute stranded hundreds of millions of dollars of cargo at Vancouver’s container terminals, and both the B.C. Premier and the PM expressed concerns that the dispute was having an adverse effect on the economy. Federal Mediator Vince Ready now has 90 days to meet with each of the parties to review and finalize the terms.
“There are financial wins in the plan for truckers,” port CEO Robin Silvester said in a statement. “There is also assurance that increased rates will be paid through better auditing of trucking companies. It is in all of our best interests that truckers come out of this dispute with their issues resolved because disruptions like this hurt each of us and Canada’s international trade reputation deeply.” The statement also said the port was concerned about “alarming reports of physical violence, threats and vandalism involving local truckers.” The union and truckers’ association have previously denied any wrongdoing in response to such accusations.