VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) and even the CAW have issued statements declaring a strike by owner/operators from two companies serving Vancouver ports will cause a minimal disruption.
Only 140 owner/operators are threatening to strike, which is a small percentage of the 3,300 owner/operators licensed to operate at Port Metro Vancouver, CIFFA pointed out. Its statement followed a release by the CAW that said a walkout by the 140 owner/operators working for two trucking companies would cause “considerable disruption” at B.C. ports.
The CIFFA pointed out that it would be illegal for the CAW to picket Port Metro Vancouver, since the port does not employ the truckers. CIFFA also reported that the VCTA-CAW Local 2006 union claimed it did not authorize the earlier release issued on its behalf, which threatened a more widespread disruption.
Sure enough, the VCTA-CAW Local 2006 issued a clarification yesterday, noting that job action would not be taken against the majority of the trucking companies that serve the port, which signed onto a collective agreement with the union.
“Unfortunately two companies, Pacific Transportation Group and Port-Team Transport, have not come to the bargaining table prepared to negotiate the same terms as other trucking firms,” VCTA-CAW Local 2006 representative Steve Sutherland said in yesterday’s release.
“The one thing that our members are clear on, is that we will not permit any company to undercut others serving the Port,” added Paul Johal, president VCTA-CAW Local 2006. “That would cause unfair competition for trucking firms and unfair rates for one group of truckers, creating an unstable situation once again at the Port. Consequently, if we are forced to take any job action it will be directed only at those two companies until we reach a collective agreement, not at other trucking firms who have already signed contracts with VCTA-CAW Local 2006.”
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