Container truck drivers were supposed to be paid higher rates after a restructuring of the industry that flowed from a month-long strike in 2014.

Stone warns defiant trucking firms to pay drivers

Sanctions coming to at least six 'rogue' companies that could lose access to Port Metro Vancouver container terminals

Six container trucking companies that defied provincial orders to pay their drivers higher legislated rates as well as retroactive pay got a stern warning Tuesday from Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The six companies flagged in an audit haven’t yet been identified but Stone said they face potentially severe sanctions unless they pay what may add up to millions of dollars in back wages.

Another 13 trucking companies are being audited and could also be penalized if they’re found to have failed to pay the required rates.

“A couple of the companies that have been notified have paid what they owed their truckers,” Stone said. “Others have opted not to, for reasons known only to them at this point. But there will be sanctions for all six of these companies.”

He said the sanctions against the companies could range from fines to suspension of their licence to access the port to an outright ban from port terminals.

The higher rates and retroactive pay legislated by the province were part of a new licensing system imposed to stabilize the port trucking industry after a month-long strike in 2014.

Stone’s comments came after the container trucking commissioner appointed by the province earlier in the year resigned Sept. 15 amid accusations he did not do enough to enforce rate compliance.

The Office of the Container Trucking Commissioner continues to function while a replacement is recruited, Stone said, and staff there are determining appropriate sanctions.

Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle said the “rogue” trucking firms have left many of the region’s 1,500 container truck drivers with less pay than promised.

One firm with 90 drivers owes them an average of $15,000 each, he said.

McGarrigle said shippers have been paying higher rates to the trucking firms, which have been pocketing the difference saved from underpaying drivers.

“It’s a tonne of money and it’s led to a lot of instability,” said McGarrigle, who is calling for stiff sanctions. “Some of the worst offenders should be kicked right out of the port.”

Meanwhile, the union has filed a court challenge against what it calls the inconsistent application of emission regulations.

Unifor says Port Metro Vancouver banned the use of trucks older than 10 years old even though the port continues to operate older trucks itself.

Just Posted

Van fire sends plume of black smoke into sky above Willowbrook

Vehicle a charred shell in fire that slowed Friday commute home

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Langley realtor uses Monopoly tournament to add to refugee group’s community chest

A fundraising tournament could be the start of an annual tradition.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read