News Local

Port Metro Vancouver threatens truckers’ suspension

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO)

Port Metro Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO)

Port Metro Vancouver has suspended dozens of truckers for various violations linked to striking and protesting outside its facilities, even as drivers say the authority has hastily withdrawn a new deadline to return to work or face suspension and termination.

PMV spokesman John Parker-Jervis said it hasn’t yet acted on a proclamation issued Sunday that deemed refusing to service the ports could mean drivers losing permits.

On Monday, he told 24 hours that more than three-dozen truckers had been suspended prior to the weekend.

“We have suspended licences in the past few weeks in regards to drivers where there’s evidence of sabotage or actually blocking traffic from entering or leaving terminals,” Parker-Jervis said. He added the “sabotage” included cutting brake lines.

“I believe the number before the weekend, it was 37 (suspensions), but I’m also going to have to confirm that.”

An exact number wasn’t confirmed by press time.

Meanwhile, both the United Truckers Association and Unifor confirmed they had received word from PMV to return to work by Monday noon.

Harmen Shergill, director of the non-union UTA, said truckers were emailed and asked who was — and who wasn’t — coming back.

“Nobody wants to go back to work until we get some form of a fair deal,” he said.

Hours later, Gavin McGarrigle, area director of the unionized Unifor, said the deadline was withdrawn.

“They still said licences could be suspended but the specific email was saying that people had to report by noon — but that particular part was pulled back,” he said.

“We don’t think it’s helpful anyway to be talking about mass termination of people who are exercising their legal rights to withdraw their labour.”

Shergill said the truckers rejected a 14-point resolution offered by a joint-committee of the provincial and federal governments, with help from the port, to address the truckers’ concerns.

He said the proposal didn’t go far enough.

“They’re giving us $25 after a two-hour waiting time (at the port). The two hour waiting time could be three or four hours, and it’ll still be $25,” Shergill said.

Parker-Jervis added PMV is still assessing the situation regarding possible suspensions.





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