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[ Vancouver, British Columbia, May 28, 2019 ] The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) provided formal notice today to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union – Canada (ILWU – Canada) of its intention, given the strike action that is occurring in the industry, that customer members of the Association will lockout all longshore employees covered by the expired BCMEA / ILWU – Canada collective agreement effective 0800, May 30, 2019.
This lockout will not include cruise ship operations or employees required to service grain vessels in accordance with Section 87.7 (1) of the Code.
The BCMEA did not arrive at this decision lightly as it followed significant discussion understanding the economic impact this will have on the Canadian economy. Our preference still remains to arrive at a negotiated settlement between the parties and we continue to be committed and available to meet with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and ILWU – Canada to achieve this end.
“This has been extremely difficult conclusion to arrive at, following 17 months of bargaining, as the impact will be significant for the average Canadian who depends on the reliable flow of goods that move through our BC ports. Our preference remains to resolve this at the bargaining table without disruption; however, as a result of the recent and significant disruptions caused by ILWU – Canada’s work-to-rule job action, we can no longer effectively and safely operate the impacted terminals. This has already caused cargo diversion from the BC coast and threatens further loss of cargo,” said Jeff Scott, Chair of the Board of BCMEA.
About the BCMEA
The BCMEA represents approximately 55 waterfront employers and, by extension, the more than 7,000 individuals who work for them. BCMEA customer-members are a vital part of BC and Canadian economies. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, industry partners move 60 million tonnes of goods worth $53 billion around the globe every year.
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