British Columbia

Port Metro Vancouver truckers' strike hitting businesses, families

The truckers' strike at Port Metro Vancouver has stopped the movement of 90 per cent of normal traffic — a scenario that is already impacting local businesses and families.

Shipments delayed for days means lost business, people can't get their possessions

Truckers' strike hitting families

8 years ago
Duration 2:27
The Orr family is basically camping in their new rented home

Gordon Glanz of Odd Society Spirits, a small independent East Vancouver distillery, already owes $1,700 in port storage fees, a cost that grows daily as long as his shipment remains locked behind picket lines.

Operations at Port Metro Vancouver have been disrupted since last week, when non-unionized container truck drivers withdrew their services. This week they were joined by unionized container truckers.

The port says 90 per cent of its container truck traffic has been stopped.

Cargo sits idle at Port Metro Vancouver after unionized container truck drivers joined their non-union counterparts who have been off the job since last week. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Glanz says it's frustrating.

"We could probably throw a stone and hit our container, but we have no access to it and yet we get charged for it," he says.

Glanz remembers the last strike in 2005, which lasted 47 days.

"If it goes on…like the strike in 2005…it's pretty onerous on our business," he says.

Glanz says his company will continue to brew as the strike presses on, thanks to the generosity of neighbouring breweries, but there are limits.

"I understand there are major issues. I just hope they can quickly resolve them and not use us as a pressure tactic," he says.

Family living in empty house for 10 days

Julie Orr and her family just moved to Vancouver from Dubai. She has been living in an empty house for the last 10 days.

Orr says the family speaks to the moving company every single day, but so far there's not much it can do.

Gordon Glanz of Odd Society Spirits says his small business can't get supplies because he can't access the container he can see from his store's window. (Odd Society Spirits)

"I don’t know if anybody is really interested," Orr says. "We're just one little family with one container among thousands.The worst thing is we have to pay storage fees of $240 a day."

She says neither her moving company nor the port is willing to budge on fees.

"They tell me they won't deliver it until I've paid all the fees," she says. "We owe $700 as of today. We're new immigrants. We haven't got the money. We really don't have thousands to spend."

With files from the CBC's Chantelle Bellrichard


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