EDMONTON, Alta. — Gravel truck drivers in Edmonton will be returning to work today after many walked off the job on July 4.
Striking truck drivers reached a tentative deal with their employers on Friday, with most drivers planning to return to work today. The group is represented by the Edmonton Independent Gravel Truckers Association, and most brokered independent deals with their employers last week. Those agreements were then reviewed by the association, says spokesman T.J. Sagoo.
The strike follows on the heels of a similar gravel trucker strike in the Lower Mainland of B.C. earlier this year. Truckers there returned to the job after striking a deal for increased pay and fuel surcharges.
About 350 gravel truckers took part in the Edmonton strike, demanding an increase in minimum haul rates and fuel surcharges. In Edmonton, the strike got ugly with truckers who chose to remain on the job reporting they were harassed. Some said their trucks were vandalized (one driver claimed his brake line was cut), but the association said its members were not behind the attacks.
Two of the largest employers in the area (Yellowhead Aggregates and Lafarge) are among the companies that have struck a deal with their employees. Although the companies said they wouldn’t deal with the association itself, they sat down at the table with their drivers.
“We’re very happy the situation can be resolved,” Marlea Sleeman, Yellowhead’s general manager told the Edmonton Journal. She said nearly 40 drivers could be back to Yellowhead Aggregates today.
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