THE United Truckers Association (UTA) on Wednesday said that in response to the Port of Vancouver’s deferral of its proposed Rolling Truck Age Program, it is making an offer to Transport Canada to collaboratively fix the outstanding issues left unfulfilled by the 2014 Joint Action Plan.
The UTA said that the 2014 Joint Action Plan, signed by both the Government of Canada and the Port of Vancouver, ended the Port labour disruption under false pretenses. Now nearly eight years later, a number of commitments made by the Port of Vancouver and the Government of Canada have yet to be fulfilled.
These broken promises include no enforcement for unlicensed trucks on port-leased property, no common terminal reservation system and waiting time fee payments that are not always paid to independent operators, according to the UTA.
UTA’s Gagan Singh said the association is calling on Transport Canada to take the next 90 days to work on addressing these outstanding issues with tangible action.
“While the UTA supports the deferral of the Rolling Truck Age Program, there are a number of issues that the Government of Canada and the Port of Vancouver must live up to as per the agreement we all signed in 2014,” said Singh. “If labour fairness, peace and stability is a commonly-held goal for all parties, then it is critical that we make use of the next few months to fix the problems that were supposed to be solved nearly eight years ago.”
The Rolling Truck Program had been scheduled for introduction on February 1, which would have financially punished independent operators already facing challenging circumstances. Citing recent extreme weather and ongoing impacts from COVID-19, the Port of Vancouver made the deferral announcement following receipt of a letter from federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra asking for consideration for a “short delay” of the program.
“The UTA is extremely grateful for the efforts of the Minister on this file, and of the various members of the Pacific Liberal Caucus for their strong advocacy,” added Singh. “We look forward to broadening the conversation with Transport Canada and these elected officials to finally create a fair and profitable marketplace for all involved.”
The UTA said that over the coming weeks it will be releasing a publicly available list of outstanding commitments as well as improvements to working conditions still necessary. It added that executive members look forward to subsequently meeting with Transport Canada and Port of Vancouver officials in support of improving Canada’s global competitiveness.