Some Toronto Container Truckers Hit Picket Lines

BRAMPTON, ON – A strike by independent truckers who are members of the Container Trucking Association of Ontario (CTAO) is having a negative impact on the free movement and flow of goods when it comes to container deliveries in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)…or maybe it isn’t.

According to the Canadian International Freight Forwarding Association (CIFFA), following a strike that began last week, reportedly by up to several hundred drivers, the movement of intermodal containers out of rail yards in the GTA has slowed, but to what degree, if any, is uncertain.

A notice on the CTAO website says the group is upset over a lack of rate increases over the past 10 years, while they have had to put in longer working hours and absorb higher costs of operation and maintenance.

The Brampton Guardian reports the truckers also want to be regulated and classified as skilled workers, which would allow them to unionize.

Carriers, forwarders and importers/exporters have started diverting cargo, and some importers are shutting down their operations, threatening jobs and harming the region’s economy due to the strike, according to CIFFA.

However, the Journal of Commerce (JOC) reports officials with both Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway have said their intermodal operations have been unaffected. One official with the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) told the publication they had never heard of CTAO or about the protest.

A notice on the CTAO Facebook page Monday morning indicated talks between the group and trucking companies have been continuing, but the situation remains unresolved.

There have been reports of pickets at various locations, including cases of intimidation tactics and  vandalism, according to CIFFA. It said CTAO has reminded their members that they must not obstruct access to container yards and to protest in a peaceful and professional manner.

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