BC Trucking Official Says Drivers Still Owed Back Pay
VANCOUVER, BC — British Columbia’s Container Trucking Commissioner Corinne Bell has renewed her call for Metro Vancouver’s port trucking companies to give back pay to their drivers as part of agreement that resolved a March 2014 dispute.
Last week, 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.
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.
In the Nov. 5 letter, 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 move is being applauded by organized labor as a step in the right direction and important to avoid work stoppages later this winter during bargaining.
“Our members are relieved that the new commissioners are taking back-pay seriously, but it will remain a major labor issue at Port Metro Vancouver until it is resolved and the drivers have the checks in their hands,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC area director.
The letter from Bell and Ready said their office continues to receive complaints about non-payment of wages.
“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.”
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