Vancouver: More than 1,200 non–unionized truckers have been off the job since February 26, and over 300 more unionized truckers also joined them on Mar 10..
The container truckers are asking for better wages, reduced line up times and most importantly respect. They say that at times they move containers for as little as $50 and when the drive and waiting time is factored in that is not much more than minimum wage.
Politicians are also voicing their opinion on the ongoing strike. After MP Jasbir Sandhu, New Democrat labour critic Harry Bains has also called for the quick resolution of the dispute between the truck drivers and Port Metro Vancouver.
In a statement Harry Bains has urged all sides to do everything they can to avoid more disruption at the port. He said, “Port Metro Vancouver is a vital link and key driver of economic activity. Continued disruption will only hurt businesses, the economy and our reputation abroad. The provincial government must work with their federal counterparts and press them on the urgency of formal mediation if an agreement cannot be reached in a timely manner.”
MP Jinny Sims has also commented on the Strike at Port of Vancouver, in her statement she said, “Enough is enough. The time to act is now. It is absolutely unacceptable that, instead of addressing the concerns of truckers and resolving the labour dispute, the Prime Minister and the BC Premier are playing political football with an important issue. The job action could have been averted if the Federal Government had not ignored all the warning signs for so long, and taken timely action to resolve the disputes. In order to create a resolution that gets everyone back to work, I call on Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt to bring all the parties to the table to resolve the long out.”
Singer Channi D and Desi Boys Prodcutions have shot a video on the plight of truckers. When Asian Journal spoke with Channi D on the inspiration he said, “I am one of the drivers too and I know how it feels to be a trucker. We are not only fighting for better wages and working conditions, but this fight is also about respect. Our profession also contributes to the province’s and country’s economy and it’s high time everyone accepts this fact.”
“The lyrics of the song are straight from the heart and this is one of the ways to depict the feelings and challenges faced by us when we drive around the city transporting containers,” he added.
The video was shot at a Truck Yard on Scott road. Tarn Jhajj wrote the lyrics, music is by Raj Dhesi. The video is produced by Desi Boyz Production. Readers can view the video at www.asianjournal.ca
On Wednesday truckers set up a picket at Ray Mont Logistics, Richmond. The company has been operating truck despite the strike being into effect from Mar 10.