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Mediator attempting to get B.C. container haulers back on job

SURREY, B.C. -- The federal and provincial governments have brought in a veteran mediator to try to reach an agreem...


SURREY, B.C. — The federal and provincial governments have brought in a veteran mediator to try to reach an agreement for striking truckers serving the Port of Vancouver.

Vince Ready is already convening talks between truck drivers and the port. More than 1,000 truck drivers have walked off the job, causing massive backlogs at the port.

"Over the last few days my senior officials have been in intense discussions with their federal counterparts around the best way to bring an end to this dispute," said B.C. Labour Minister, Mike Jong. "We have also had a request from the parties to intervene. There are two distinct elements in play here. The first is the adequacy of trucking rates in light of increasing fuel costs. We’ve asked Mr. Ready to sit down as quickly as possible with the drivers and the trucking companies and work out a reasonable and practical plan to deal with compensation."

He added "There is also an issue here with respect to other industrial relations problems affecting truck drivers serving the Port of Vancouver. I’m very encouraged that (federal Labour Minister, Joe Fontana) is going to appoint an inquiry to address these concerns."

Fontana said details of the inquiry will be released this week.

de Jong said he hoped truckers would return to work while the facilitator attempts to find some common ground and while the inquiry is underway.


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