RCC members should be aware of developing labour issues at Port Metro Vancouver. Over the past week, non-unionized truckers of the United Truckers Association have been conducting protests across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Port Metro Vancouver quickly obtained an injunction that has prevented protesting truckers from disrupting port operations. With the majority of non-unionized truckers still operating, the job action has been limited in its impact.
The situation is becoming more problematic. On Thursday, Unifor, which represents unionized truckers, will withdraw their services against trucking companies that transport container traffic from terminals of Port Metro Vancouver. This will have a very significant impact upon container movement, essentially stopping truck traffic and potentially having an impact on rail traffic. What has so far been a localized issue in British Columbia has the potential to affect every retailer who imports goods through Port Metro Vancouver.
It exacerbates problems caused by a significant backlog of containers resulting primarily from bad weather in Central and Eastern Canada.
The dispute falls within the jurisdiction of the Government of British Columbia. Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond has appointed a negotiator and may very soon appoint a mediator.
Port Metro Vancouver provides regular updates on its’ website. Or you may follow Port Metro Vancouver on Twitter @portmetrovan.
RCC has been in regular contact with Port Metro Vancouver and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training BC, pressing the importance of bringing an end to the disruptions and underscoring the impact that delays will have on retail operations. RCC will continue to work with these authorities and will provide periodic updates.
For information, please contact Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations, British Columbia at (604) 730-5254 or [email protected].