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Unifor union slams Port of Vancouver container truck policy

Container truck drivers’ concerns are being ignored as the Port of Vancouver forces through a program to retire trucks arbitrarily, says Unifor.

“The program is a farce. Not only does it ignore the financial concerns of truck drivers, it exempts more than 98% of trucks on B.C.’s roads,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “It’s ‘greenwashing’ at its worst. The Port’s plan imposes massive costs on truckers and will have no real effect on emissions.”

The Port of Vancouver will introduce a ban on trucks older than 12 years beginning September 15, 2022. Applying for a temporary exemption comes with large fees for truckers.

Unifor demands the Port undertake meaningful consultations about the fairest way to transition the trucks without causing major financial hardship for truck drivers and minimal disruption in port trucking capacity.

The union says a two-year pause to the phase-out and access to financial assistance would start to ease concerns.

“Container truckers are already struggling with the rising cost of inflation. Trip payment rates have not increased in two years,” said Paul Nagra President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association. “The purely arbitrary truck retirement age will mean financial ruin for many truck drivers in Metro Vancouver.”

Through both court battles, public campaigns, and lobbying, Unifor has been fighting to have drivers’ voices heard on truck age restrictions for many years.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. (Photo Unifor)