Striking Port Metro Vancouver truckers threaten legal action
Striking truck drivers rally at Port Metro Vancouver off the McGill Street entrance on Thursday. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Striking unionized truckers are vowing legal action if Port Metro Vancouver refuses to reinstate drivers’ permits that expire at the end of March and April.
Unifor area director Gavin McGarrigle said a court injunction would be sought if PMV follows through with its changes proposed on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, he said, truckers remain defiant despite Victoria’s decision to legislate them back-to-work on Monday, with a 90 day cooling off period.
“I don’t know how they think anyone will cool off after being legislated back to work,” McGarrigle said.
“The whole point is the reason they’re legislating is because they know what we’re doing is legal, so they have to bring in a new law to make it illegal.”
Government’s position is that the truckers’ strike and protest negatively affects the economy. According to striking truckers, only a “trickle” of big rigs have been proceeding through to the port, which remains in operation.
The back-to-work legislation, according to the province, is expected to affect about 250 unionized truckers. The vast majority of protesters is non-unionized, members of the United Truckers’ Association of B.C.
B.C. Teachers Federation president Jim Iker showed up at PMV’s McGill entrance on Thursday in solidarity.
“What we need to do is stand together in support of a freely negotiated collective agreement,” he said.