Accoring to the Reuters, Port Metro Vancouver says the disruption to its operations from a strike this Monday by up to 400 container truck drivers and the non-unionized drivers who have joined them is having a dramatic effect on the ability of terminal operators to move goods.
Workers represented by Canada’s largest private sector union Unifor rejected a tentative deal on Saturday that could have adverted the job action at Port Metro Vancouver, calling the offer “too little, too late.”
The union says the average rate of pay for truckers moving containers to or from Port Metro Vancouver is $15.59 an hour, whereas the average rate of pay in the B.C. trucking industry is $23 an hour.
The Journal of Commerce reported that the trucking environment in Vancouver is turning worse every day, with drivers who choose to work at the Canadian port facing retribution from striking drivers, and cargo diversion already becoming a reality. The few drivers who have continued working have been followed by strikers, and when they are out of sight of security, the vehicles are pelted with rocks and on occasion drivers have been physically attacked.
The port authority, provincial and federal governments are trying to broker an immediate solution to end the violence and keep the terminals from shutting down and at the same time develop a long-term plan.
Port Metro Vancouver is also developing an extended gates program that will provide regular and predictable evening and weekend shifts at the marine terminals.
According to Port Metro Vancouver, as many as 2,000 trucks move about $885 million worth of cargo every week in and out of the four container ship terminals.
Vincent Uy, who owns a food distribution centre, said consumers might not notice anything immediately, but if the picket lines stay up, costs of some items may rise.
RCL Agency will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available .