The B.C. government will implement “the majority” of recommendations to better regulate pay for container truckers in the Lower Mainland, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says.
The B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner, established after a 2014 trucker strike shut down Port Metro Vancouver operations, has recommended a two per cent trip and hourly rate increase, to take effect June 1.
Commissioner Michael Crawford’s top recommendation is to change regulations to ensure all truckers who haul containers from point to point in the Lower Mainland pay the regulated rates. Independent truckers undercutting rates led to the 2014 strike by truckers who said they couldn’t cover their expenses.
The current regulation “allows unlicensed companies to pay unregulated rates for off-dock moves,” Crawford wrote. “The extent of this problem is unknown, but the Office of the BCTCC is aware that there are licensed companies which own or are otherwise closely affiliated with unlicensed companies and therefore able to pay regulated rates for on-dock work and unregulated rates for off-dock work.”
Crawford also recommended a $50 short-trip rate for off-dock container moves of less than five km between facilities. His report was submitted to Trevena in October 2018.
In a statement, the transportation ministry said it has spent the intervening time consulting with trucking companies, driver representatives and other industry stakeholders.
The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, extending from Roberts Bank in Tsawwassen and the Fraser River to Burrard Inlet. It includes 27 marine terminals, three railroads and a regional short line railway.
The B.C. government was poised to impose back-to-work legislation in 2014 after unionized truckers represented by Unifor joined non-union drivers in blocking port operations. Unifor president Jerry Dias worked out a compromise with former premier Christy Clark’s government that led to the formation of the BCTCC.