NEWS

Vancouver port truckers reject government plan to end strike

03/17/2014 10:09 EDT | Updated 05/17/2014 05:59 EDT
The container truckers strike crippling operations in Port Metro Vancouver will continue after talks between government and drivers failed to make progress on the weekend.

Representatives of both unionized and non-unionized drivers said government officials were unwilling to negotiate during their Sunday meeting to discuss a government plan to end the strike.

"We’re prepared to negotiate around the clock to end this dispute,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC Area Director, in a statement released on Sunday night.  

"We’ve been trying for eight years to resolve these issues, and a negotiated agreement is the only sustainable solution. After that length of time, the port’s 'trust us' approach simply isn’t enough for our members."

The drivers are asking for standardized rates of pay to prevent under-cutting and a reduction in wait times at Port Metro Vancouver. They also want better wages paid while waiting at the port for loading and unloading.

About 400 unionized truckers went on strike last week, joining 1,000 non-unionized truckers who walked off the job in February.

On Thursday the federal and provincial governments and port officials released a 14-point plan designed to end the strike.

But both unionized and non-unionized truckers have rejected the proposal.

"Container truck drivers deserve more than minimum wage for waiting time." said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association (VCTA), in the statement.

"Truckers understand the impact of the work stoppage, and we’re eager to find a speedy resolution,”

Port officials estimate the strike is affecting about $885 million worth of cargo per week and Prime Minister Harper says it`s threatening the economy.

MORE:cbcNews