NEWS
03/24/2014 11:25 EDT | Updated 05/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Vancouver truckers strike: back-to-work legislation expected

The B.C. government is expected to introduce back-to-work legislation in an effort to end the ongoing container truckers strike at Port Metro Vancouver on Monday morning.

The legislation would affect about 250 unionized truckers who are members of Unifor, and will likely include a 90-day cooling off period and substantial fines if truckers refuse to comply.

Angry drivers have already pledged to defy any legislation, arguing word of a forced end to the dispute has encouraged employers to quit seeking a negotiated solution to complaints such as long wait times and undercutting by other drivers.

But last week port officials said those drivers who don't return to work risk immediately losing their licences for the port, and president Robin Sylvester says truckers are already starting to go back to work, with or without legislation.

"Towards the end of the week we were around 40 per cent of normal operation level. Over the weekend one of the largest terminals was open and had 700 truck moves, which is a very large number for a weekend day. So it seems very clear that people are deciding they want to go back to work."

Sylvester says he wants to see truckers get a good wage, but the way to achieve that is by keeping things moving at the Port.

More than 1,000 non-union truckers first walked off the job in February at the port's container terminals. They were joined by the unionized truckers on March 10.