VANCOUVER, B.C. – Ten Port Metro Vancouver trucking companies have filed suit against the payment of retroactive wages to drivers in the sector, bringing the Office of the British Columbia Container Trucking Commissioner and B.C. government to court.
Unifor, the union representing the employees, said the pay is owed to the drivers and that the suit ‘has no merit’ and that the companies’ actions could threaten stability at Port Metro Vancouver.
Unifor is urging customers to continue conducting business at the port with companies that accept the new minimum rates established by the government.
“Last month at the bargaining table, we achieved long-term labour peace at the port, but these companies would rather drag us back into a bitter fight over wages,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president. “There is a wage floor that applies equally to all companies, but this lawsuit seeks to take money out of truckers’ pockets. It’s pure greed.”
The companies filing the suit include:
• Aheer Transportation
• Bestlink Transport
• Burton Delivery Service
• Gantry Trucking
• Gur-ish Trucking
• Indian River Transport
• Roadstar Transport
• Sunlover Holding
• Triangle Transportation, and
• T.S.D. Holding Inc.
“Undercutting in this sector has always been a problem and now we see clearly which truck company owners want to continue to drive wages down. Shippers now need to play their part toward stability by refusing to do business with these companies who refuse to treat their drivers fairly,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. area director. “The provincial government needs to mount a vigorous defense of its own legislation to make sure that truckers receive the full payment of all wages owed.”
The back-and-forth between Port Metro Vancouver companies and employees has been ongoing since 2014 and stems from the contention that drivers were not being paid what they should have been by the respective companies that employed them.
In late November following an audit of several of the port’s container trucking businesses, the Office of the British Columbia Container Trucking Commissioner ruled that the companies were not paying drivers the retroactive rates that was agreed upon in March 2014.