Aheer, Prudential truck drivers threaten strike action

Truck drivers employed by Prudential Transportation and Aheer Transportation have voted to strike, threatening service levels at the Port of Vancouver. The two fleets represent almost 200 truckers that move containers in and out of the facility.

A Unifor member flies the union flag in downtown Vancouver. (Photo: CNW Group/Unifor)

The Unifor members are looking for a pattern agreement adopted by more than 100 truck drivers at Harbour Link Transportation in August 2021. That deal, the union says in a related press release, led to higher payments for waiting time, as well as health, dental and insurance benefits.

“Unifor truckers in this sector are fighting for the simple right to have health and dental benefits. Basic respect for your workers and their family’s health and safety is not an unreasonable request,” said Unifor national president Jerry Dias. “Two bad apples who don’t want to provide basic benefits during a pandemic are threatening stability for the whole port.” Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s western regional director, referred to Prudential and Aheer as Harbour Link’s biggest competitors.

“It would be a shame if two greedy employers caused further disruptions to supply chain stability for the small extra costs required to meet the pattern agreement,” he said, also noting that Aheer has previously been fined by the Trucking Commissioner in June 2018 and September 2017.

Truck activity at all four containers has so far remained steady, despite immediate challenges linked to flood-damaged infrastructure in the B.C. interior, according to the port’s most recent operations update.