Stone warns defiant trucking firms to pay drivers

Sanctions coming to at least six 'rogue' companies that could lose access to Port Metro Vancouver container terminals

Six container trucking companies that defied provincial orders to pay their drivers higher legislated rates as well as retroactive pay got a stern warning Tuesday from Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The six companies flagged in an audit haven’t yet been identified but Stone said they face potentially severe sanctions unless they pay what may add up to millions of dollars in back wages.

Another 13 trucking companies are being audited and could also be penalized if they’re found to have failed to pay the required rates.

“A couple of the companies that have been notified have paid what they owed their truckers,” Stone said. “Others have opted not to, for reasons known only to them at this point. But there will be sanctions for all six of these companies.”

He said the sanctions against the companies could range from fines to suspension of their licence to access the port to an outright ban from port terminals.

The higher rates and retroactive pay legislated by the province were part of a new licensing system imposed to stabilize the port trucking industry after a month-long strike in 2014.

Stone’s comments came after the container trucking commissioner appointed by the province earlier in the year resigned Sept. 15 amid accusations he did not do enough to enforce rate compliance.

The Office of the Container Trucking Commissioner continues to function while a replacement is recruited, Stone said, and staff there are determining appropriate sanctions.

Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle said the “rogue” trucking firms have left many of the region’s 1,500 container truck drivers with less pay than promised.

One firm with 90 drivers owes them an average of $15,000 each, he said.

McGarrigle said shippers have been paying higher rates to the trucking firms, which have been pocketing the difference saved from underpaying drivers.

“It’s a tonne of money and it’s led to a lot of instability,” said McGarrigle, who is calling for stiff sanctions. “Some of the worst offenders should be kicked right out of the port.”

Meanwhile, the union has filed a court challenge against what it calls the inconsistent application of emission regulations.

Unifor says Port Metro Vancouver banned the use of trucks older than 10 years old even though the port continues to operate older trucks itself.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read