BRAMPTON, Ont. – More than 600 members of the Container Trucking Association of Ontario (CTAO) are on the fourth day of labour action.
According to the CTAO, container truck drivers who work as independent contractors have not seen a raise in rates in a decade, even for inflation, despite rising costs including insurance, fuel expenses, plate changes, and vehicle maintenance.
The association, that represents drivers who transport intermodal containers from rail yards, gave advanced strike notice on September 8, 2015 at 12:01 p.m.
“We are struggling to survive. See the data of the last 10 years. Insurance, fuel expenses, plate charges, truck prices and maintenance expenses have gone up and our wages have gone done. We are in serious trouble,” said Jaswinder Brar, CTAO vice-president.
The CTAO claims a culmination of factors including low rates, high operating costs, extensive wait-times at rail yards, long working hours, and the increased cost of living have created an untenable situation for drivers.
“Truckers want to be regulated and classified as skilled work,” said Patrick Rhodin, CTAO president. “Lots of abuse and exploitation is going on in the absence of that. Root cause of most our problems lies in this.”
CTAO says it will continue this labour action until an agreement can be reached.