Truck Owner/Operators Prepare for Negotiations with Vancouver Port Authority

    SURREY, BC, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - Over 350 members of CAW Local 2006 VCTA/CAW
met on October 26 in Surrey, B.C. to discuss a bargaining strategy to replace
the collective agreement which expires on December 31, 2008.
    Negotiations should begin in the next two weeks and will continue until
either an agreement is reached or a dispute commences. CAW represents over
700 owner/operators that haul containers out of the various Vancouver ports.
    Paul Johal, president of CAW Local 2006 said that the group is having
considerable problems getting workplace issues resolved, especially with many
employers moving to utilize hourly drivers at the expense of owner/operators.
"This, combined with the high fuel prices and a dispatch system that creates
long delays, is adding many challenges which have to be resolved," he said.
    Hemi Mitic, assistant to the CAW national president was on hand to
deliver support from the national union. "We want a fair agreement and an
efficient dispatch system that keeps the trucks rolling, which will benefit
both sides," said Mitic.
    According to the union, the Vancouver Port Authority has been slow to
move this problem along. Line-ups cost money and adds to the pollution, many
employers are looking for ways to get around the Ready Memorandum that brought
a settlement to the last shutdown in 2005. Hiring hourly drivers at the
expense of owner/operators is wrong. These problems have been raised at the
Mainland Port Container Logistics Forum, but to very little avail.
    From the outset the union has raised the issue of too many trucks hauling
out of the port - it makes it impossible for anyone to make a decent living -
we need a limitation on hourly trucks replacing owner/operators. The Vancouver
Port Authority (VPA) needs to resolve this issue, which is a major problem for
the union.

For further information:

For further information: Paul Johal, (604) 518-5008; Stu Shields, (604)
318-7233; Hemi Mitic, (416) 565-3677

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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