VANCOUVER, Aug. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - Unifor is asking a provincial judge to
direct the Container Trucking Commissioner to enforce the wages owed to
container truck drivers as part of the March 2014 Joint Action Plan. The Plan was signed by Premier Christy Clark, representatives for
federal Minister of Transportation Lisa Raitt, and Jerry Dias from
"We have a deal signed by the Premier, that should be worth something,"
said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director. "Trucking companies
are breaking the rules, and the Commissioner is letting them. We're
going to fight for justice, because container truck drivers work hard
and deserve the wages promised to them in good faith over a year ago."
In documents filed with the court today, Unifor is alleging that
Container Trucking Commissioner Andy Smith is in a clear conflict of
interest because he is employed as both the Commissioner and the lead
lobbyist of the BC Maritime Employers' Association, an organization
representing many commercial interests connected to Port Metro
Vancouver. Unifor is also asking the courts to order Smith to enforce
the payment of back-wages for all drivers as agreed to by the two
levels of government and the union.
The provincial government appointed Smith several months ago at a rate
of $800 a day while working as the Commissioner to enforce the Container Trucking Act. An Order in Council from December 2014 created regulations to mandate
that rates established in the Joint Action Plan be retroactively paid to all drivers for all moves beginning on April
In January 2015, trucking companies also signed a statutory declaration
swearing that they owed no back wages in order to apply for new
licences issued under the Container Trucking Act—something that is demonstrably false in many cases. Despite this, the
Commissioner still refuses to enforce retro-pay.
"The fox is guarding the henhouse," said Paul Johal, President of
Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers' Association (VCTA). "Port Metro
Vancouver must operate with integrity. If truckers can't be guaranteed
the wages they're owed under the law, it threatens the operation of the
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information:
Please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@Unifor.org