B.C.’s longshore foremen union issues strike notice, says BCMEA

By CityNews Staff

The B.C.’s Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) says the union representing hundreds of B.C.’s ship and dock foremen has issued a 72-hour notice of intended strike against terminal operator company DP World (Canada) Inc.

A news release from the BCMEA says the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 514 is expected to be on the picket lines starting July 8 at 4:30 p.m.

CityNews has made multiple attempts to reach the union for confirmation.

This move comes despite the Canada Industrial Relations Board commencing hearings this week to address complaints, which relate to wages and retirement benefits, among other issues.

The ILWU said in a statement last month that 99 per cent of the nearly 600 longshore foremen who voted were against a “final offer” from the employers association.

Local 514 president Frank Morena said at the time that DP World Canada told them in December it would unilaterally introduce some automation at its rail intermodal yard at the Centerm port in Vancouver.

The BCMEA says they had previously offered a 19.2 per cent wage increase and are disappointed with the move.

“The stability and reliability of Canada’s West Coast ports and the nation’s supply chain are critically important to the BCMEA, our members and all Canadians,” the association said.

Last year, B.C.’s port workers went on strike in July over wages, benefits, and training issues. In August, a contract covering 7,400 workers in the province was approved by the union after it had rejected a mediated settlement twice. The BCMEA said at the time that the collective agreement reached included increases in wages and benefits as well as training.

At the time, the Vancouver Board of Trade issued a statement saying an estimated $10 billion worth of trade was disrupted during the strike.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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