Vancouver carriers sue over owner-operator rate increases, driver pay changes

| May 08, 2014
Port of Vancouver
Port of Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver trucking companies have filed a lawsuit against Canadian authorities, arguing recent federal rate increases that ended a recent truckers’ strike are unconstitutional.

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Trucker strike, shutdown continues at Port Vancouver as owner-ops reject proposal

Container truck traffic has fallen 85 percent at Canada’s Port Vancouver, where union and non-union truckers have rejected a mediator’s return-to-work proposal. The unionized Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association and United Truckers Association, the port’s owner-operator organization, refused mediator’s Vince Ready tentative agreement March 8. The federally-appointed third-party intermediary met with truckers to broker the proposal. Ready’s independent ...

Thirty-three carriers filed claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia April 25 after Canadian officials elevated container trucking rates 12 percent and doubled owner-operators’ fuel surcharge. The carriers seek an injunction to end the hikes and unspecified damages.

The carriers assert the Canadian government lacked jurisdiction when it imposed these increases. The changes resulted from a back-to-work agreement negotiated between the federal and provincial governments, Port Metro Vancouver, union and non-unionized truckers.

The plaintiffs say they were excluded from discussions that resulted in the March 26 agreement ending the strike. The return-to-work plan also included setting a benchmark hourly wage and trucker wait time compensation.

The port’s independent owner-operator organization, the United Truckers Association stopped work Feb. 26, while the unionized Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association began strike March 10.