VANCOUVER — The provincial government is working on a bill to send 250 Unifor truckers, currently on strike, back to work.
The bill could land as early as Monday morning and includes a 90-day cooling off period and the union is taking it as a refusal to negotiate.
Unifor issued a statement on Wednesday, saying: “BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s refusal to negotiate with container truck drivers and the introduction of forced-work legislation will only make matters worse in the port dispute.”
Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA) commented: “The minister can’t expect to stick his head in the sand and make this go away. A negotiated settlement is the only sustainable solution.”
Meanwhile, Port Metro Vancouver will move to terminate licenses.
“These actions are necessary and are required today to protect the economy, protect jobs for British Columbians and Canadians, and keep goods and services moving across the country,” the port and government said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
A full week has gone by since container truckers reviewed the proposed 14-point Action Plan that was meant to resolve their issues and see them back to work.
“The plan ensures truck drivers are paid fair compensation and a quick implementation of pilot measures to help reduce wait times at container terminals and the creation of an industry oversight committee,” BCTA wrote in a statement.
As many as 400 Unifor drivers and 1,000 non-unionized drivers part of the United Truckers Association (UTA) are striking because they are unhappy with their wages and long wait times at the port’s terminals.
Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president commented: “Stripping workers of their right to negotiate fair working conditions is not leadership. We’re actively seeking a resolution that works for everyone, but that can’t be done if the minister doesn’t take workers’ rights seriously.”
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