Port Metro Vancouver “On Its Knees” Before Truckers

VANCOUVER — The province, Port Metro Vancouver and Federal Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt have drafted and signed a 14-point proposal that they hope will end the strike crippling Canada’s largest port.

“The port is on its knees. We received word this morning that within 24 hours ships will be diverted from the Port of Vancouver and will be diverted to Seattle,” B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone told the CBC. 

Officials worked through the night to draft the 14-point proposal, which unionized and non-unionized container truckers agreed to review.

Here’s what’s on the table:  

  • As soon as normal operations resume, the port will drop the legal suit against the United Truckers Association (UTA) – based on accusation of disruptive protesting and property destruction – and will cancel licence suspensions not related to criminal activity;
  • Within one month, the federal government will adjust the regulated trip rates for drivers by 10 per cent and will review wages and fuel-surcharge rates. They will implement the results by mid-2015;
  • The province will engage unions and their certified employer companies to renew collective agreements and will ensure access to mediation if both parties agree to its use;
  • Upon return to work, drivers will be paid their due fuel surcharge, which will be enforced through increased provincial audits;
  • The port and the province will work together to bring off-dock trips into full alignment with the rate regulation, with a target for implementation by June 15, 2014;
  • Better auditing process so that all trucking companies registered in the trucking licensing system for local drayage will be subject to audit and in a transparent manner. The scope of the audit program will be expanded to include union and non-union drivers and “off dock” movements. Target for full implementation by June 15, 2014;
  • Whistleblower Mechanism: Port and province will work together on a mechanism for the reporting of concerns related to compliance with trucking licensing system requirements (including compensation provisions) or incidents of intimidation or harassment related to container drayage activity;
  • Port Metro Vancouver will talk with trucking industry stakeholders on the restructuring of the trucking licensing system to implement initial reforms by June 15, 2014. The goal of the new system is to create a more stable trucking industry;
  • An extended hours pilot project by March 31, 2014 that will be responsive to volume Forecasts;
  • The Terminal Gate Compliance Fee will be waived when excessive delays are encountered at a terminal;
  • Speed up GPS project to outfit the balance of the trucking fleet with GPS technology by  May and September 2014;
  • Create a better common reservation system by January 2015 to address concerns related to the current reservation system;
  • Owner operators not remunerated on an hourly basis will be paid a Terminal Gate Efficiency Fee – flat rate of $25 per trip – starting May 1, 2014 for the month of April for all trucks with installed GPS monitoring. Fee will be paid if the driver is at the scheduled location at Port Metro Vancouver container terminals but has not been provided with the container within two hours of the driver’s scheduled pick up time;
  • A steering committee will be formed of representatives from the unionized and non-unionized trucking community, the terminals, Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada and the Province of British Columbia and will be chaired by Transport Canada. The steering committee will monitor implementation of all commitments in the Joint Action Plan and share the results on a regular basis with all stakeholders.

“I have asked Port Metro Vancouver to implement the agreed upon action plan,” said Raitt in a news release. “It is time to get the port working once again and we expect the trucking industry to do their part and immediately return to work.”

While the protesting truckers are reviewing the proposal, Manny Dosange from the UTA commented: “Nobody’s called us, nobody has informed us of anything. We’re hearing it all third hand.”

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