Port union to mull deal before possible Sept. 19 vote

All-night bargaining and lockout, preceded deal after labour action began

The tentative agreement to end a four-day labour dispute on B.C.’s docks will go to a Sept. 13 union caucus meeting before a vote on the deal.

A tentative deal was reached between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada and the BC Maritime Employers Association May 30.

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While final vote details are unknown, the union does have space booked at the Sheraton Guildford Sept. 19 – a venue believed to be intended for at least some of the voting.

The union had issued strike notice for May 27 and had begun limited labour action when the employer announced a lockout for May 31.

After all-night bargaining, the association lifted the lockout warning and the union withdrew its strike notice.

Preserving jobs in the face of port automation and site safety are among concerns the union had raised.

The association and ports, though, asserted automation would save jobs and not be used to replace workers.

Shipping companies have complained labour costs are too high in the ports.

The lockout affects all ports in Canada's Asia Pacific Gateway – including the private, northern facility in Stewart. The lockout will not include cruise ship operations or employees required to service grain vessels.


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