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Container truckers putting the brakes on strike plans for now

Port Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Container truckers are putting the threat of a strike on hold for now. After meeting Sunday, frustrated truckers decided to delay potentially walking off the job until after meeting with the province on Thursday.

Gavin McGarrigle with UNIFOR, which represents unionized truck drivers, says he’s hoping discussions with the transportation minister and veteran mediator Vince Ready who has also been invited, will smooth things over.

“In good faith, we are prepared to wait and talk to the minister directly and find out why the province has decided to not implement the rate from last year. So, we’ll see how that meeting goes, but I can tell you the container truckers are very upset.”

He explains further why drivers are fed up. “They feel that they did their end of the bargain by going back to work and working in good faith, and so the rates need to be implemented. At the end of the day, if those rates aren’t implemented we could be looking at another shut down very soon.”

He says they want to see the rates previously negotiated last year, $26.00/hr for company drivers after one year of service, and a round trip rate for owner operators, instead of what he calls a complicated set of rates proposed by the province.