British Columbia government awards 2% pay increase to container truckers

Container truck

The provincial government for British Columbia, Canada is implementing a 2% pay increase for around 1,700 container truckers, effective from 1 June 2019.

The 2% increase in truckers’ trip and hourly rates has been designed to offset higher operational costs and help ensure fairer compensation for drivers.

The adjusted rate structure is one of the recommendations featured in the British Columbia container trucking commissioner’s rate and remuneration report. The local government, led by Premier John Horgan, has confirmed that it will be introducing the majority of the report’s proposals, which aim to deliver balance, stability and competitiveness within the trucking sector. This also includes a commitment to mandate remuneration for all work-related driving, for example, moving empty truck beds.

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Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said: “I would like to thank the British Columbia container trucking commissioner for consulting [the] industry and providing recommendations that will help restore balance in the container trucking industry.

“As a result, we are creating an enhanced rate structure and implementing several measures, which will benefit more than 1,700 hard-working British Columbians and their families. With these actions, we are delivering on our commitment to act on the 2014 Joint Action Plan, and we are going even further to benefit drivers and the industry.”

The increase in trip and hourly rates follows on from strike action in March 2014; container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks because of wage undercutting by trucking organisations and long wait times at the Port. This was resolved when an agreement was completed between the truckers, the Port, the British Columbia government and federal government. This resulted in provincial government increasing trip and hourly rates by 2.6% in 2018.

Trade union Unifor states that provincial regulation in this area is necessary due to continued wage theft; it reveals that since the Container Trucker Act was introduced in 2014, more than $2.5 million (£1.4 million) in recovered wages and fines have been levied.

Collective bargaining agreements for the truckers expires on 30 July 2019.

Jerry Dias, national president at Unifor, added: “Few industries need regulation as badly as the container trucking industry. It’s hard to overstate just how much wage theft our members have seen over the years from unethical employers. We welcome the Horgan government’s continued leadership on protecting hardworking container truckers.”

Since receiving the British Columbia container trucking commissioner’s rate and remuneration report, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has been consulting with key stakeholders in the container trucking sector, including employers, driver representatives and other industry stakeholders, to gather feedback on an implementation plan to ensure it is measured, fair and maintains sector stability and competitiveness.