NEWS

Plan to end Vancouver port truckers' strike gets federal support

03/14/2014 10:22 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT
The B.C. and federal governments and Port Metro Vancouver have agreed to a plan they hope will resolve the ongoing container truckers' struck that has crippled port operations.

Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced she was supporting the 14-point plan late Thursday night.

The union representing the truckers' has yet to respond to the proposal, which aims to put more regulations in place for the rates paid to truckers moving containers in and out of Vancouver's four container ports.

The plan was first released by B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone at a news conference in Vancouver Thursday afternoon.

Stone told reporters federal and provincial officials worked late into the night Wednesday to come up with 14 proposals to present to striking container truck drivers.

Stone said if the dispute is not settled within the next 24 hours, ships will begin diverting to Seattle.

Noting the impact on the overall economy, Stone is asking Raitt to get on a plane as soon as possible and come to Vancouver.

"This is Canada's largest port and the port is on its knees. We received word this morning that within 24 hours ships will be diverted from the Port of Vancouver and will be diverted to Seattle."

Port Metro Vancouver is the country's busiest port and the strike by truckers is impacting $100 million in goods every day.

The strike started last week when non-union container truckers withdrew their services. It picked up steam this week when the non-union truckers were joined on Monday by unionized truckers.

The truck drivers are demanding standardized rates of pay across the trucking sector to prevent undercutting and a reduction in wait times at the port.

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