Labour Minister intervenes in Canada port strike

“Today after eleven days for a work stoppage, I have decided the difference between the employer’s and union’s position are not sufficient to justify the continued work stoppage,” O’Regan stated.

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU Canada) and the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) started negotiations on a new labour contract in February, but despite 10 weeks of mediation have been unable to reach agreement and over 7,000 dockworkers went on strike 11 days ago.

Negotiations have continued while the strike hit the key ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert disrupting billions of dollars’ worth of goods and trade.

The Labour Minister said there was “a good deal within reach – one that would work for both the employer and the union”. O’Regan has asked the senior federal mediator to send him a written recommendation for terms of a settlement within 24 hours.

The recommended settlement will be forwarded to the ILWU and BCMEA giving the two sides 24 hours to decide whether to recommend ratification to their members.

BCMEA said both sides had received correspondence from the Labour Minister and they would continue to provide updates as appropriate.

The BCMEA and ILWU have been unable to agree on issues related to regular maintenance with the union accusing employers of expanding their use of sub-contracted labour.



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