Canadian court sides with carriers on deal that ended port trucker strike

Updated Apr 27, 2015
Metro Port VancouverMetro Port Vancouver

Canada’s federal court has ruled in favor of trucking companies that sued over Port Metro Vancouver’s process for licensing container trucking companies to serve the port.

Last spring, a strike by the port’s independent owner-operator association and union trucker organization ended when truckers and government officials formed the Joint Action Plan. Both sides agreed there were too many licensed trucks for the available work, resulting in undercutting affecting truckers.

That plan included deadlines set by new provincial legislation. In order to comply with these dates, PMV fast-tracked its new truck licensing system and set out selection criteria designed to reduce the number of licensed trucks.

The court affirmed that Canada’s largest port had the authority to establish a licensing scheme and to adopt criteria and score applications based on this criteria. However, it took issue with the manner in which the selection process was applied.

Port officials said they tried to select as fairly as possible, but now are reviewing the court’s decision and considering next steps.

“Once the matters addressed through the judicial review have been resolved and licensing reform is complete, primary control of the number of approved trucks will shift to the provincial trucking commissioner,” the PMV stated April 23.

The non-union United Truckers Association of British Columbia said the court ordered the port to reassess using the most favorable benchmark. It then directed the PMV to license qualified applicants meeting “the benchmark for approval.”

The port is a financially self-sufficient corporation established by Canada, accountable to the federal Minister of Transport.