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BC government jumps into truckers strike

BC government jumps into truckers strikeStriking container truck drivers stand by after parking their trucks downtown during a rally in Vancouver, on Friday March 21, 2014. The B.C. government is poised to intervene in the truckers strike at Vancouver-area ports, with back to work legislation set to be introduced as early as Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government is poised to intervene in the truckers strike at Vancouver-area ports, with back to work legislation set to be introduced as early as today.

The legislation is expected to include a 90-day cooling off period.

More than 1,000 non-union truckers have been on strike since late last month, and several hundred unionized truckers joined the job action earlier this month. The truckers are demanding shorter wait times at the port and standardized rates of pay across the sector to prevent undercutting.

A spokesman for Unifor, the union representing unionized truckers, says the spectre of a legislated end to the strike has short circuited negotiations. Gavin McGarrigle says some of the trucking companies have avoided negotiating with the drivers.

McGarrigle says some union members have told him they won't obey the back to work legislation, even if it means going to jail.

It's estimated the strike has cost the Canadian economy hundreds of millions of dollars and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has expressed concern about the situation.

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