Port Metro Vancouver said it will remain open for business whether or not some local container truck drivers go on strike next week. And if any picket port property, they will lose their permits to serve the port, the Port Authority said.
A statement on the Port Authority’s Web site Tuesday refers to a Journal of Commerce Newswire report Monday that 140 owner-operators working for two trucking companies had voted in favor of a possible strike as soon as Monday, May 4, since contract talks with the companies had broken off. The story quoted Stu Shields, national representative in Vancouver of Canadian Auto Workers union Local 2006.
The Port Authority statement, made to "clarify the situation," says "Port Metro Vancouver is open for business, and will remain so." The owner-operators who had voted to potentially strike are "a limited number" who have "an outstanding issue with three out of 196 local license holding trucking companies" which haul containers to and from the port, the statement says.
Should owner-operators picket Port Metro Vancouver property, "the Port will cancel their permits," the Authority says. "Truck operators (company employee drivers) and owner-operators represented by CAW local 2006 may strike their employer," the statement says. "Should picketing occur, it would be at their place of work, not Port facilities."
The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) also said Wednesday that, since Port Metro Vancouver is not the employer of the owner-operators, it would be illegal to strike the port. "Ocean container drayage business will flow as per usual," it says.
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