OVER 200 United Truckers Association (UTA) members gathered for a masked, socially distanced meeting this past Monday to approve moving forward on a court challenge “regarding rampant, illegal off-dock activity in the local drayage sector.”
“This new direction comes in response to a series of lies and empty promises delivered by the BC Container Trucking Commissioner and the BC Government over the last few months,” said the UTA.
On May 12, the Office of the BC Container Trucking Commissioner (OBCCTC) released a recommendation report on off-dock activity. As per a recent release by Unifor, it is estimated that 45% of all drayage off-dock work is performed by unlicensed, untagged trucks at less than half of legislated rates. This has led to great hardship and loss of earnings for legitimate Independent Operators (IOs), according to the UTA.
After months of being promised legislative change by both the Commissioner and BC government officials, the report has instead recommended a way for illegal operators to be legitimized into the current system.
The 2014 Joint Action Plan that ended the labour disruption, committed to regulation of off-dock work by June 15, 2014. Yet seven years later, this promise has not been fulfilled. As a result, the UTA has been left with no other options but to petition the courts to designate the current regulatory environment as illegitimate, according to spokesperson Gagan Singh.
“Since the last provincial election, the BC Government has told the UTA that the off-dock loophole was going to be closed, and now we see that those promises were nothing but lies,” said Singh. “Politicians are quick to condemn the racist past of the Komagata Maru, but our UTA members are facing a modern form of discrimination that is causing great suffering across the community.”
The recent report by the Commissioner is a complete contradiction from his bulletin released on April 17, 2020, which clearly states that:
“Licensees are reminded of the March 6, 2018 bulletin which advised that it is a requirement of the Regulation and section 6.9 of the CTS Licence that they use tagged trucks for all on and off-dock moves.”
One year later, not only has no enforcement been carried out by licensed companies using untagged trucks for off-dock work, but the Commissioner has also now abandoned this position.
“The OBCCTC and the BC Government can no longer use lies and deception to avoid upholding the law, and the UTA is going to ensure that the courts teach them this important lesson,” said Singh.