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Trucking companies’ case to suppress wages dismissed

May 30, 2018

VANCOUVER—The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed two container trucking companies’ challenge to the Container Trucking Act.

“Corporate greed loses again,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor worked closely with both levels of governments to arrive at a fair system that levels the playing field for all trucking companies—but not all companies want to play fair.”

After a group of ten employers failed in a lower court to overturn key parts of the Act, only Gantry Trucking and T S D Holding Inc. continued to appeal.

Today’s ruling is the latest in a long string of judgements, fines, and damage awards that punish employers for withholding wages or resisting legislative changes. Recent examples include Unifor truckers winning $45,000 in damages from each of  Aheer Transportation and Sunlover Holdings. Non-payment later led the B.C. Supreme Court to issue a contempt of court ruling against Sunlover Holdings and a further $15,000 in damages if it refuses to attend examinations. 

Since the Act was introduced in 2014, over $2.5 million in wages and fines have been levied.

“Unifor has been continually active to ensure these rogue companies respect the law and their drivers,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. Area Director. “The courts have regularly and consistently ruled against trucking companies. Ultimately sectoral bargaining is the only long-term solution.”

Container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks in March 2014 as a result of wage undercutting by trucking companies and long wait times at the Port. Truckers went back to work after a plan was signed with the truckers, the Port, the BC government, and the federal government. The BC NDP government has started to respond to the concerns raised by Unifor by taking steps to increase rates and hourly pay by 2.6% and to review the rates by fall 2018.

The full decision can be found at http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/ca/18/02/2018BCCA0210.htm

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).