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Government negotiator intervenes in port strike

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- A government-appointed negotiator has been asked to help find a resolution to a strike among tug...


VANCOUVER, B.C. — A government-appointed negotiator has been asked to help find a resolution to a strike among tug boat operators at the Port of Vancouver.

The strike has cut the number of scheduled containership calls at the port in nearly half.

"No containers are moving at Deltaport, in or out, and the terminal is looking at curtailing receiving export containers in by rail to avoid congestion on the docks," as of noon Monday, said Chris Badger, vice-president of operations of the Vancouver Port Authority.

"The appointment of a federal mediator is a good step towards resolving this dispute," Small Business and Economic Development Minister John Les said yesterday. "In British Columbia, tugboats are a vital service, so we are please to see the federal government is taking the steps necessary to resolve to this dispute and keep our economy moving forward."

About 800 tug boat and barge operators are on strike, affecting 80 per cent of tug boat and barge operations on the coast. The strike is costing tens of millions of dollars for every day it drags on.

"I find it unacceptable that our ports be shut down for any length of time, given the potential to harm B.C.’s economy," Les added. "Ports are fundamentally important to our economy, so I am calling on the parties in this dispute to use the mediator’s office to get together and reach a deal."


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