Aggregate haulers and dump truck drivers are parking their rigs in Ontario seeking increased compensation for the loads they haul, among other demands.
Hundreds of aggregate haulers have been protesting outside quarries for the past eight days, demanding an increase in rates.
Meanwhile, dump truck drivers began job actions on Monday advocating respect for their labour rights, fair wages and compensation, and to highlight safety issues.
Ontario Aggregate Trucking Association (OATA) president Jagroop Singh said the group’s hundreds of members are seeking a 40% increase in rates.
Members of the Ontario Dump Truck Association (ODTA) parked their trucks at the Ontario Khalsa Darbar in Mississauga and will not be working and servicing job sites. Some protests and picket lines have also been set up around the Greater Toronto Area.
Singh said OATA members need to be paid more because of soaring inflation and the rising price of fuel.
“Presently we earn between $1,000 to $1,200 a day. We are seeking to be paid between $1,500 to $1,600 a day,” Singh said outside a quarry in Milton, Ont. “We stopped working and are protesting outside quarries where most of the customers pick up their material.”
Today’s Trucking requested comment from a company in Milton where protesters have been gathering but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.
“The agreement will put on paper basic labor rights, fair wages and compensation.”Bob Punia, ODTA
“We want to work collectively to come to a binding agreement with contractors and others that employ independent dump truck operators. The agreement will put on paper basic labor rights, fair wages and compensation and other standards that we need to have a viable and safe industry,” ODTA’s Bob Punia said in a press release.
“With rising fuel prices, our members being denied breaks and washroom access, and ongoing safety concerns, we can’t continue to work like this. It’s not safe and it’s not fair.”
Norman Cheesman, executive director of Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) said he understands the struggles that truckers are having with higher fuel prices, but the group does not support harassment tactics and interference of trucks going in and out of quarries.
Cheesman said it is up to individual companies to negotiate contracts with their suppliers and the OSSGA does not get involved in that.
The OATA said it released a letter on Feb. 20 to companies its members service, warning if rates were not increased by 40%, trucks would be parked. “The letter was ignored,” Singh said. He said with diesel priced at almost $2 a liter, a meeting was held with the companies last week, but they said rates would not be increased.
Protests at 20 locations
He added that owner-operators are spending an additional $44 a day to run their businesses. He said OATA members are protesting in groups at about 20 locations in the province.
The 2,000-member ODTA has sent notice to stakeholders of the request to put in place the agreement along with new hourly rates that reflect the rising costs of doing business.
“Our hope is to come to a quick resolution and agreement with all parties so that everyone can get back to work with minimal disruption,” Punia said.
“We certainly hope that peace is restored where these protests are taking place because it is not good for business. And there are truckers that are working. What we are seeing is harassment of truckers that are already working,” OSSGA’s Cheesman said.
Have your say
This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.