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Port Metro Vancouver Strike is Over. What did they settle on?

The governments of Canada and British Columbia, and Port Metro Vancouver reached an agreement with members of the United Truckers Association and Unifor to end the 28-day strike at Port Metro Vancouver and resume full operations as of the end of March, 2014. The agreement was reached following extensive discussions between all parties, and the joint adoption of a refined Joint Action Plan to address the truckers’ concerns. Here are some highlights from that plan.

The Government of Canada has taken appropriate measures to increase trip rates by 12% over the 2006 Vince Ready Rates. These rates shall be calculated on a round trip basis and shall apply to all moves. The rate was initially instituted at $25.13 per hour on hire and $26.28 after one year of service. Canada and B.C. further commit to put in place a new mechanism to ensure off dock trips (including within a property or between properties) are remunerated consistent with the revised regulated rates.

As per the current federal regulation, the fuel surcharge multiplier will be amended from 1% to 2% that will result in a 14% fuel surcharge. This fuel surcharge must be paid to owner operator drivers without exception and this will be enforced through increased and regular provincial audits.

The Province of British Columbia will strengthen the scope of the audit function so that all trucking companies registered in the trucking licensing system for local drayage will be subject to regular audits conducted in a transparent manner, and penalties for rate violators shall be severe and shall include cancellation of licenses for companies and individual drivers. The scope of the audit program will be expanded to include union and non-union drivers and “off dock” movements. The province and Port Metro Vancouver will work with the industry to define the parameters of the audit program, with full implementation by June 15, 2014.

Port Metro Vancouver will establish a mechanism for directing the Terminal Gate Efficiency Fee (i.e., Waiting Time Fee) to be paid to the trucking companies who will be required to pass the fee on to independent owner operators. Starting seven (7) days after a return to work, the Terminal Gate Efficiency Fee (i.e., Waiting Time Fee) shall be paid at $50 per trip for time spent waiting at Port terminals (Deltaport, Fraser Surrey Docks, Vanterm, Centerm) after ninety minutes of waiting time. At two hours of waiting time, an additional $25 fee will be paid per trip. At two and half hours of waiting time, an additional $25 fee will be paid per trip. Each additional half hour will be paid at a rate of $20.

A steering committee was formed immediately following the return to work and it consists of representatives from the unionized and non-unionized trucking community, the terminals, Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada and the Province of British Columbia to be chaired by Transport Canada. The steering committee will monitor implementation of all commitments in the Joint Action Plan and share the results on a regular basis with all stakeholders.

By Scott Cairncross

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