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ILWU Canada members to be locked out by employers

THE organisation that negotiates labour contracts with Canadian longshoremen working at British Columbia ports, including Vancouver and Prince Rupert, said it has given notice to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) - Canada of its intention to lock out longshoremen starting today (Thursday 8am local time)

ILWU Canada members to be locked out by employers

THE organisation that negotiates labour contracts with Canadian longshoremen working at British Columbia ports, including Vancouver and Prince Rupert, said it has given notice to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) - Canada of its intention to lock out longshoremen starting today (Thursday 8am local time)

29 May 2019 - 19:00

THE organisation that negotiates labour contracts with Canadian longshoremen working at British Columbia ports, including Vancouver and Prince Rupert, said it has given notice to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) - Canada of its intention to lock out longshoremen starting today (Thursday 8am local time).

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) said it was making the announcement 'given the strike action that is occurring in the industry'. BCMEA and the ILWU have been trying to negotiate a new contract for one that expired in March 2018.



ILWU members overwhelming authorised a strike in a vote held 8-9 May. The ILWU said it would take 'limited and targeted job action Monday morning at GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm, but all ports will remain open; no picket lines will go up' and that contract talks would continue.



The two container terminals are operated by GCT Global Container Terminals in the Port of Vancouver. A Global spokeswoman would not describe the extent of labour action, but referred questions to the BCMEA.



The ILWU Canada president Rob Ashton said Tuesday afternoon that the union was 'shocked' by the BCMEA's action, calling it 'heavy-handed'. He said the union had deliberately taken a moderate approach, such as not working overtime and not reporting for work early, reports American Shipper.



He said the union wanted to keep cargo moving, recognising the importance of British Columbia ports to the Canada's economy. Mr Ashton was hopeful that an agreement might be reached before the lockout takes effect.



BCMEA, which represents 55 waterfront employers, said it did not arrive at the decision to threaten a lockout 'lightly as it followed significant discussion understanding the economic impact this will have on the Canadian economy'.



It added: 'Our preference still remains to arrive at a negotiated settlement between the parties and we continue to be committed and available to meet with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and ILWU - Canada to achieve this end.'


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