Container Truckers on indefinite strike
Mississauga/September 8, 2015
Operators and drivers of container trucks operating in GTA went on indefinite strike on Tuesday morning. Call for strike action was given by Container Trucking Association of Ontario, the largest body of container trucks in the region. The association has more than 500 members. The strike notice was given by the association at 12:01 AM on September 8.
“ Truckers want to be regulated and classified as skilled works. Lots of abuse and exploitation is going in the absence of that. Root cause of most of our problems lies in this”, said association president Patrick Rhodin.
More than 1200 container trucks operate in GTA and the strike can disrupt operations at local CN and CP rail yards causing a chain reaction that will reverberate through the economy of the whole region.
Majority of the operator/drivers belong to South Asian community and the association has set up their strike point in the parking lot of Dixie Gurdwara.
“We are actually struggling to survive. See the data of last 10 years. Insurance, fuel expenses, plate charges, truck prices and maintenance expenses have gone up and our wages have gone down. We are in serious trouble”, said Jaswinder Brar, vice president of the association.
Truckers are upset with low rates, long waiting time at rail yards, long working hours, high cost of operation and maintenance.
Industry experts feel that most of their problems stem from the fact that the industry is still not properly organized and they actually need a self regulatory body that could stop rate cutting and help standardize their service rates. Truckers also feel that classifying them as skilled workers will give them right to union representation.
It was not immediately clear how disruptive Tuesday’s action was at local rail yards.