Government today introduced legislation bringing in a 90-day cooling-off period for the 250 striking Unifor truckers impacting the Port Metro Vancouver.
While the government’s preference is always to see disputes such as this settled through collective bargaining, that has not worked in this situation involving various parties and complex issues. As a result, the provincial and national economies are at risk of long-term damage. The cooling-off period is a reasonable step to get Unifor truckers back on the job, give them time to work toward a solution at the bargaining table, and allow Vince Ready to begin working to help the parties resolve their issues.
After weeks of efforts to end the dispute, today’s legislation is a necessary step. The legislation obliges the striking Unifor truckers to continue bargaining in good faith and make every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement. During this period any lockout or continued strike activity by Unifor will trigger significant penalties for either the employer or employees.
The legislation addresses the immediate and co-ordinated action necessary to resolve the work disruption at the Port. If necessary, the legislation also permits the Minister to extend the cooling-off period for up to an additional 60 days.
This legislation is critical to ensure bargaining resumes and the effects of the work disruption are minimized. The governments of Canada and B.C., along with Port Metro Vancouver, are committed to implementing the 14-point Action Plan from March 13, 2014, with the help of Ready, once work resumes.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour -
“This legislation is being tabled reluctantly and comes after multiple attempts over recent weeks to end the dispute and get Port Metro Vancouver back to full capacity. The disruption at Canada’s largest and busiest port is impacting our economy, jobs and our trading reputation. This 90-day cooling off period will allow the parties to get back to the bargaining table while normal Port operations resume and goods get moving again.”
- The legislation applies only to legally striking unionized Unifor container truck drivers who serve Port Metro Vancouver.
- If an employee contravenes the cooling-off legislation they are subject to a fine of up to $400 per day.
- If the union or an employer contravenes the cooling-off legislation they are subject to a fine of not less than $10,000 per day.
- Read more about the 14-point Action Plan here: http://www.portmetrovancouver.com/docs/default-source/ABOUT-Media/2014-03-13-action-plan-march-final2.pdf?sfvrsn=8
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour