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Sparx Logistics

07/24/2014

Vancouver Port Truckers Set Strike Deadline of July 30

According to multiple media venues, the union representing about 400 harbor truck drivers at Port Metro Vancouver has set a deadline of July 30 for the Canadian government to enforce mandatory pay rates for drivers; otherwise, union members plan to strike. The new pay structure for truckers was announced in March by federal mediator Vince Ready. However, both unionized and non-unionized drivers in Vancouver contend that many harbor trucking companies are not adhering to the increases.

Gavin McGarrigle, Director of Unifor (the drivers' union), recently met with national Minister of Transportation Lisa Raitt and British Columbia Minister of Transportation Todd Stone to discuss the issue. McGarrigle said he was frank with the government officials, emphasizing that union members expect "results" by the July 30 deadline. According to legal experts, Unifor is in a “legal strike position” that is similar to working without a contract, meaning that its members are free to walk off their jobs at any time.

Vancouver continues to experience higher-than-usual container volumes, likely caused by cargo diversions from U.S. West Coast ports in the midst of ongoing longshoreman contract negotiations. Although Canadian National Railway is allocating slots on its intermodal trains, causing some backlog at the port, additional cargo destined for the U.S. is reportedly not affecting trucker turn times on local Vancouver deliveries.

SPARX logistics will closely monitor this situation and keep our customers informed of the latest developments.

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