Vancouver Port Strike Ends with Settlement
On March 26, 2014, representatives of the provincial and federal governments, the United Truckers Association, and Unifor reached an agreement based on the joint Transport Canada, BC Ministry of Transportation and Port Metro Vancouver’s 14-point plan to end the owner-operator withdrawal of service and Unifor strike, with significant clarifications and a 15th point added requiring UTA and Unifor drivers to return to work on March 27, 2014.
The agreement includes the following action points:
- Immediately upon resumption of normal trucking operations, Port Metro Vancouver will rescind licence suspensions where no criminal charges have been laid against any driver or operator by the police. Port Metro Vancouver will also dismiss without any legal costs its legal action in the Federal Court against the United Truckers Association.
- The Government of Canada commits to take appropriate measures to increase trip rates by 12% over the 2006 Ready Rates. The rates will take effect within 30 days of the return to work and will apply to all moves of containers (whether full or empty).
- The Province of British Columbia commits to engage unions and their certified employer companies on the importance of achieving renewal collective agreements and will ensure access to mediation if both parties agree to its use.
- Upon return to work the fuel surcharge multiplier will be amended from 1% to 2% which will result in a 14% fuel surcharge immediately upon a return to work. This fuel surcharge must be paid to owner operator drivers without exception.
- The Province of British Columbia will strengthen the scope of the audit function so that all trucking companies registered in the trucking licensing system for local drayage will be subject to regular audits conducted in a transparent manner and penalties for rate violators shall be severe and shall include cancellation of licenses for companies and individual drivers.
- Port Metro Vancouver and the province will work together to provide 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 begin a consultation period with trucking industry stakeholders on the restructuring of the trucking licensing system with the intent to implement initial reforms by June 15, 2014.
- Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver will announce, for rapid implementation, an extended-hours pilot project by March 31, 2014 that will be responsive to volume forecasts.
- Immediately, the Terminal Gate Compliance Fee will be waived when excessive delays are encountered at a terminal.
- The Government of Canada and Port Metro Vancouver will expedite the roll out of the next phase of the GPS project to outfit the balance of the trucking fleet with GPS technology.
- Port Metro Vancouver in consultation with terminals and trucking stakeholders, will implement an enhanced common reservation system by January 2015 to address concerns related to the current reservation system.
- Port Metro Vancouver will establish a mechanism for directing the Terminal Gate Efficiency Fee (i.e. Waiting Time Fee) to be paid to the trucking companies who will be required to pass the fee on to independent owner operators.
- A steering committee will be formed immediately following the return to work and will consist of representatives from the unionized and non-unionized trucking community, the terminals, Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada and the Province of British Columbia to 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.
- The Province of British Columbia, the Federal Government, and Port Metro Vancouver agree that Vince Ready shall be seized to issue recommendations on all points in this action plan that will be reviewed, finalized and acted upon within ninety (90) days of a return to work.
- Unifor and the UTA agree to an immediate return to work based upon the above and acceptance by Canada and British Columbia.
For more details on the above points and further information on this development, please see Agreement to Resume Full Operations at Port Metro Vancouver on the BC Government newsroom website.
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
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