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‘Fake unions’ behind Port Metro Vancouver strife: Unifor

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver. (QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)

Port Metro Vancouver. (QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)

According to a union representing truckers serving Port Metro Vancouver, “fake unions” are driving down hauling rates and operators will walk off the job at Thursday noon if demands to stabilize the situation aren’t met.

About 1,200 truckers represented by the United Truckers Association walked off the job last week complaining about long wait times for loading and low hauling rates.

On Monday Unifor, a union which represents hundreds of truckers, issued strike notice for the same reason.

Being a certified union shields the drivers from being audited by the port. Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle said groups of drivers undercutting the competition have been popping up as unions despite not having collective bargaining agreements with employers.

“We’ve seen a growth of what we believe are fake unions to simply become certified to avoid the investigation and the audit of those rates that are out there,” he said. “They’ve been certified, they’re not affiliated to the BC Federation of Labour.”

McGarrigle reiterated the drivers’ call to bring in mediator Vince Ready to negotiate a permanent deal between drivers, their employers and the port.

Late Monday PMV said it would be lifting a moratorium on licences for drivers to operate at the port to mitigate the job action's effects.  

Drivers went on strike in 2005 and Ready hammered out a deal, but McGarrigle said a more permanent agreement is needed.

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