THE United Truckers Association of BC (UTA) filed suit on Wednesday in federal court against Port Metro Vancouver (PMV), seeking transparency and accountability on the Port’s controversial Terminal Licensing System (TLS).
“When we signed the 14-point Joint Action Plan with the Premier in March of 2014, we had an understanding that a fair and transparent licensing system would be implemented. Our action seeks transparency, accountability and answers to questions that truckers have continually sought about the TLS,” said UTA spokesperson Gagan Singh. “Our members have lost complete faith in the system and are forced to seek a federal review by way of the justice system to answer our questions that PMV refuses to answer.”
Non-union truckers walked off the job on February 26, 2014. Negotiations with the provincial and federal governments ended their job action on March 26, 2014, with the establishment of a 14-point Joint Action Plan, signed by the representatives of the UTA and both levels of government. PMV recently implemented a licensing system that appears to be biased against truckers that have worked the Port for decades and favours large companies over small, independent businesses.
“This is no longer a battle for a license to operate on the Port,” said Gagan Singh. “We are fighting for our livelihoods and for our families who depend on us for survival. Filing an action in federal court was never our first choice, but we no longer can wait for answers that never come. We have sought the support of organizations such as the BC Truckers Association but they no longer are able to represent the interests of our members adequately.”
Over 350 independent drivers are currently affected by the TLS. Once dependent family members are included, the number of individuals directly affected by the TLS is over 1,000.
The UTA’s action seeks to resolve the ongoing issues that truckers are encountering at ports including the lack of transparency and accountability of Port Metro Vancouver over the TLS.