Vancouver, BC — Longshore workers have issued 72-hour strike notice that could see two Port of Vancouver container terminals behind picket lines by Monday.
Jeff Scott, chair of the B.C. Maritime Employers Association, says they’ve been informed that Global Container Terminals in Delta and Vancouver could be behind picket lines on Monday morning.
The dispute involves about 6,000 members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada, who voted 98.4 per cent in favour of supporting strike action earlier this month.
On Sunday afternoon, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada issued a press release stating there would be “limited and targeted job action” on Monday, but no pickets.
“Our goal is to keep the ports open with minimal disruption to trade,” said union president Robert Ashton.
“Contrary to comments made by employers to the media, all terminals will remain open for business and ILWU-Canada and its locals will not put up picket lines at this time.”
Scott says both sides remain at the bargaining table with the help of federal mediation services in the hope of avoiding a labour dispute because they recognize the significant economic impact that it could cause.
He says the Port of Vancouver did an analysis on a possible labour disruption and found that the affect on cargo would be about $540 million a day.
The employers association represents more than 30 member companies at B.C. ports and Scott says a strike would affect as many as 34,000 workers.
The association acts on behalf of the terminal operators, shipping lines and its member companies.