Longshore workers at the Port of Vancouver are set to strike on Monday, May 27, 2019. (Photo by Loutron Glouton)

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

This Monday, May 27, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is ready to strike at two container terminals in Vancouver.

The letter referring to the strike was leaked to social media and Postmedia News.

“Please be advised we have just received formal, written 72-hour strike notice from ILWU Canada relating to ongoing labour negotiations in British Columbia,” wrote Mike Leonard, president and CEO of the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA).

The strike notice is effect for 7 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at the Global Container Terminals (GCT) Canada at the Vancouver port.

Leonard wrote that his organization remains committed “to the collective bargaining process and will continue to bargain in good faith. We are deeply concerned about the disruptive impact that a potential strike will have, not only on the jobs and economic security of individual citizens, but also the broader Canadian economy.”

READ MORE: Port workers reach tentative agreement

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and handled a record high of 147 million tonnes in 2018, up 3.5 per cent from the previous year.

The collective agreement expired in March last year, and since then the ILWU and British Columbia Maritime Employers Association have been negotiating for a new agreement.

On May 10, 2019, ILWU Local 500 at Vanterm and Deltaport in Vancouver released that members voted 98.4 per cent in favour of supporting strike action against the member companies of the BCMEA.

DP World World Prince Rupert Inc. is one of the member companies with BCMEA, along with GCT Canada Limited Partnership.

The ILWU Local 505 in Prince Rupert has over 700 members. The president of the Local 505 was unable to comment at present.

READ MORE: Fairview Terminal reaches 1 million TEU milestone

More to come.

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Shannon Lough | Editor
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