Canadian trucking firms reject strike settlement plan

| 8/1/2005

During the weekend, a group of Canadian trucking companies overwhelmingly rejected a mediator’s proposal for ending a month-long strike at the Port of Vancouver.

The approximately 1,000 container truck drivers who are on strike had overwhelmingly approved the plan.

The mediator’s proposal called for an increase in hauling rates and would have provided relief from future increases in fuel costs.

A spokesman for the trucking companies said the deal would have increased costs as much as 85-percent.

Now the companies want the Canadian government to order a 90-day cooling off period. But last week government officials said they could not intervene because the striking truckers are independent contractors and not union workers.

The striking truckers normally handle about 40 percent of the container cargo that arrives at the port. The Vancouver Board of Trade estimates the strike is costing British Columbia’s economy $75 million a day.