Work stoppage in support of Juneteenth shuts down West Coast ports

Union has 60,000 members who work in ports in Alaska, B.C., south to California and Hawaii

Ports along the West Coast of Canada and the United States are quiet as workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union stop operations to support racial equality and social justice.

A statement from the union says the eight-hour action honours Juneteenth, the celebration of the liberation of slaves in the United States on June 19, 1865.

The union has 60,000 members who work in ports in Alaska, B.C., south to California and Hawaii.

A statement posted by the Canadian union, which is autonomous from its U.S. counterpart, says the organizations have “a proud history of defending the rights and dignity of people.”

The work stoppage will affect B.C. operations within the Port of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Stewart and Chemainus.

JUNETEENTH: A day of joy and pain – and now national action

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which manages the Port of Vancouver, didn’t respond to the union action, but the Port of Tacoma in Washington state issued a statement recognizing Juneteenth.

“With this proclamation, the port is making it clear where we stand: We stand with our African American community members and that Black lives matter,” said Kristin Ang, a Port of Tacoma commissioner in a tweet posted by the port.

Rob Ashton, president of Canadian union, says in a statement that systemic racism is built into all levels of life in the United States, but this country shares the blame, in the past and the present.

“We also had slavery, there was the internment of Japanese Canadians, the incident of the Komagata Maru and the residential schools,” writes Ashton.

“In present day, we have the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and we see systemic racism in Canadian society.”

Work in the ports would resume with the start of the afternoon shift, the union says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

Nuxalk Nation receives over $4 million in funding for Big House

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

RCMP confirm homicide investigation underway near Quesnel

Police releasing few details four days after homicide occurred Monday, July 6

Most Read