Deal reached in BC trucking strike

Cargo will begin moving through Port Metro Vancouver Mar. 27 as union and non-union truckers head back to work.

After a full day of bargaining Mar. 19, the port, the province, the federal government and nearly 1,500 drivers reached an agreement.

The dispute largely focused on issues related to pay, including rates, unpaid time spent at the port waiting for cargo, and allegations of undercutting within the industry.

The deal will overturn all license suspensions in which no criminal charges were laid against drivers.

The federal government will also increase trip rates by 12 per cent, as well as wait fees for truckers at the ports. Mediator Vince Ready will also issue recommendations on a 14-point plan addressing drivers’ concerns.

Read full agreement here.

After the deal was reached, Premier Christy Clark said the government will withdraw back-to-work legislation introduced earlier this week.

Unifor President Jerry Dias, who represents several hundred unionized drivers, said the negotiations were the most complicated he has ever faced but that the outcome was what the members wanted, The Canadian Press reports.

BC Premier Christy Clark says the impact of the work stoppage was huge for businesses across the province — and even further afield.

Approximately 1,000 non-unionized workers walked off the job in February and were joined by 250 unionized workers Mar. 10.

Since then, container shipping from Canada’s largest port was cut by about 90 per cent, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cargo remained stranded.

Both Clark and Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned the dispute was jeopardizing the economy.

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