Deal appears to avert strike at BC ports

VANCOUVER — It’s now unlikely that pacific shippers and drayage companies will have to deal with a dock foremen strike that threatened to idle most of the Canadian west coast’s freight traffic.

According to Canwest News, a tentative agreement has been reached between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union — representing about 500 foremen — and the British Columbia Maritime Employers’ Association.

Details reportedly will not be released until union members have ratified the deal.

The union originally voted last December to strike but continued to postpone labor action while negotiations were ongoing with the association and federal mediators.

It was expected that more than 5,000 dock and port workers would have honored picket lines, crippling shipping, rail and trucking to and from B.C. ports, which are said to have lost freight while under a strike threat these last few months.

Meanwhile, there’s still no word whether the Vancouver Container Trucking Association-CAW is any closer to making good on its own strike threats.

The union, representing about 700 independent container haulers, has been warning since last fall that its members could shut down their trucks if demands are not met on rates standards enforcement and improvements to the dispute resolution program.

The VCTA-CAW seems to have backed off, though, since the Port Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced stricter oversight of the mandatory port trucking licence agreement.


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