Government to end labour strike over Canada's biggest port with back-to-work legislation

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s government said Wednesday it preparing back-to-work legislation to force an end to a strike by container truck drivers at the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s biggest port.

The provincial government said in a statement that legislation is necessary to protect the economy in British Columbia and around Canada.

The release said that despite a joint 14-point offer made to truckers seven days ago, a strike by drivers has continued.

Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said the disruption at Canada’s largest port is having a severe effect on the economy and that she encourages truckers to go back to work.

Better pay and standardized rates that would prevent drivers from undercutting each other are among the issues driving the stalemate.

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s refusal to negotiate with container truck drivers and the introduction of forced-work legislation will only make matters worse in the port dispute, the union said.

“The minister can’t expect to stick his head in the sand and make this go away,” said Paul Johal, President of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association. “A negotiated settlement is the only sustainable solution.”