BC longshoremen sign deal to avert strike

VANCOUVER — As expected, a strike that threatened to cripple the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert has been averted.

The B.C. Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have ratified a collective agreement that will keep goods flowing at B.C. ports.

The two sides agreed to a tentative agreement last month. About 450 longshoremen were set to walk off the job, with another 5,000 port workers — including truckers — promising to follow suit in support.

The threat of a strike has been hanging over the ports since last December and some reports suggest that million of dollars of freight has been diverted since then.

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