Multi-year effort by Independent Operators prompts new opportunity to fix systemic problems collaboratively
Surrey, BC – The United Truckers Association (“UTA”) is reacting to the Port of Vancouver’s deferral of its proposed Rolling Truck Age Program with an offer to Transport Canada to collaboratively fix the outstanding issues left unfulfilled by the 2014 Joint Action Plan.
Signed by both the Government of Canada and the Port of Vancouver, the 2014 Joint Action Plan ended the Port labour disruption under false pretenses. Now nearly 8 years later, a number of commitments made by the Port of Vancouver and the Government of Canada have yet to be fulfilled.
These broken promises include no enforcement for unlicensed trucks on Port-leased property, no common terminal reservation system and waiting time fee payments that are not always paid to Independent Operators.
The UTA is calling on Transport Canada to take the next 90 days to work on addressing these outstanding issues with tangible action, says Gagan Singh of the UTA.
“While the UTA supports the deferral of the Rolling Truck Age Program, there are a number of issues that the Government of Canada and the Port of Vancouver must live up to as per the agreement we all signed in 2014,” says Singh. “If labour fairness, peace and stability is a commonly-held goal for all parties, then it is critical that we make use of the next few months to fix the problems that were supposed to be solved nearly eight years ago.”
The Rolling Truck Program had been scheduled for introduction on February 1, which would have financially punished Independent Operators already facing challenging circumstances. Citing recent extreme weather and ongoing impacts from COVID-19, the Port of Vancouver made the deferral announcement following receipt of a letter from Transport Minister Omar Alghabra asking for consideration for a “short delay” of the program.
“The UTA is extremely grateful for the efforts of the Minister on this file, and of the various members of the Pacific Liberal Caucus for their strong advocacy,” adds Singh. “We look forward to broadening the conversation with Transport Canada and these elected officials to finally create a fair and profitable marketplace for all involved.”
Over the coming weeks, the UTA will be releasing a publicly available list of outstanding commitments as well as improvements to working conditions still necessary. Executive members look forward to subsequently meeting with Transport Canada and Port of Vancouver officials in support of improving Canada’s global competitiveness.