Both unionized and non-unionized truckers are now on strike at Port Metro Vancouver in Canada. 1,400 non-union drivers in the United Truckers Association went out on February 26, 2014. Up to 400 drivers from the Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association went out today, March 10, 2014.
Truckers went out on strike at Port Metro Vancouver this morning, after having voted last Saturday to reject a mediated back-to-work plan. They are joining non-union truckers who have been on strike since the end of February. Drivers from Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association set up pickets at 9 locations around Metro Vancouver, including the main Port of Vancouver, Deltaport (which are part of the 4 terminal complex), and several trucking companies that move containers to and from the ports.
98% of the rank-and-file rejected the mediated settlement, fighting against the $15.59 an hour rate of pay for port truckers and contrasting it with the $23 an hour pay for the B.C. trucking industry. Those rates haven't changed for the last 8 years. Like most other west coast ports another grievance is wait times for trucks at the port, which can reach several hours.
The 4 terminals in Vancouver take in 12.4% of all containers on the North American west coast, handling 2,000,000 containers per year, and truckers move cargo worth $885,000,000 in and out of the port's terminals every week.
Major strike by truckers shut down the Vancouver ports in 1999 and 2005, the latter lasted 47 days and forced the B.C. government to re-regulate the industry and begin to phase out independent operator truckers.
Port management says that the terminals are only working at 15% of capacity. The port authority has also gotten an injunction against strike activity on port property by union and non-union drivers, but they're maintaining their strike in defiance of that court order. Picketers stop trucks passing by, encouraging them to join the strike.
Here's a mainstream news story from CBC News for British Columbia.