VANCOUVER, Nov. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Container truck drivers at several Metro Vancouver trucking companies have voted to ratify collective agreements with Unifor today after several days of around-the-clock bargaining. Companies with new collective agreements include AG, Aheer, Forward, Prudential, and Sunlover.
"These collective agreements are a major step forward for the sector's drivers," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director. "Unifor drivers have a major advantage with fair rates and working conditions with this deal."
Roughly 75% of truck drivers represented by Unifor have now ratified a collective agreement that won't expire until July 2019—a major step towards stability at Port Metro Vancouver. The new deal ensures that all outstanding retro pay will be paid out to drivers within 30 days, improves rates for CN and CP moves, and fixes the pay chart for "off dock" moves. In addition to job security protections and better dispatching language, companies will also start contributing toward a benefit plan for both owner-operators and company drivers.
Only two companies—Port Transport and Harbour Link—remain unwilling to bargain deals that meet the pattern. Port Transport's workers have been on strike for a week and remain off the job.
Harbour Link has been one of the main companies that have refused to pay the retroactive wages required under the Container Trucking Act. Unifor has filed a complaint with the Office of the Container Truck Commissioner seeking both wages and penalties.
"Instead of bargaining a fair deal and following the law, Harbour Link has been fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying the wages it owes drivers and now it wants a different contract than that signed with other companies," said McGarrigle. "With these six deals in hand, Port Transport and Harbour Link are extremely vulnerable to a loss of business. It is in their interest to get a deal as soon as possible."
Picketing will begin at Harbour Link's main yard at 7420 Hopcott Road (Tilbury Island) in Delta, BC at 6 a.m. on Monday, November 30, 2015.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 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