VANCOUVER, Nov. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Container Trucking Commissioner Corinne Bell's renewed call to Metro Vancouver's port trucking companies to pay their drivers is a step in the right direction and important to avoid work stoppages later this winter during bargaining, says the largest union in the sector.
"Our members are relieved that the new Commissioners are taking back-pay seriously, but it will remain a major labour issue at Port Metro Vancouver until it is resolved and the drivers have the cheques in their hands," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director.
On November 5, Bell and Deputy Commissioner Vince Ready sent a letter to all companies in the sector demanding that all drivers be paid outstanding wages retroactive to April 3, 2014. The commissioners cited Section 28 of the BC Container Trucking Act, which outlines penalties of up to $500,000 for non-compliance. They also noted that truck companies that are in voluntary compliance with the Act and regulations have a better chance of avoiding penalties, which could include the suspension or cancellation of licenses.
"The law is clear and now the message from the Commissioners is clear: Pay up now, risk massive fines, or get kicked out of the port," said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers' Association.
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.
"Fixing wages was central to ending the 2014 dispute," said McGarrigle. "But until all companies are compliant with the legal rates of pay, that dispute threatens to re-ignite."
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