VANCOUVER, B.C. — Labour peace has been achieved between the B.C. Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 514, after a tentative agreement reached last month was signed by both parties.
“Representatives from the BCMEA and ILWU Local 514 met (on Friday), confirming their respective memberships have ratified the collective agreement in effect between Apr. 01, 2007 and March 31, 2010,” said Greg Vurdela, vice-president marketing and information services, BCMEA.
The 450 ship and dock foremen with ILWU have been without a contract since March 31, 2007. There has been no comment by ILWU Local 514 during the negotiation process, or since the ratification vote. According to BCMEA, the main issue has been the cost of the contract.
However, labour peace has not yet been fully realized at Vancouver ports. Unionized truckers who haul freight at the Port of Vancouver have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2008, and negotiations have not been smooth.
Members of the Vancouver Container Truckers Association/Canadian Auto Workers 2006 (VCTA/CAW 2006) voted unanimously on Dec. 21, 2008 to hold a strike vote in late January, but that action has never occurred. Negotiations from that point have been ongoing, but unsuccessful. The union has recently announced that mediation is now being considered, but no further details have been offered.
The 750 truckers, which are predominantly owner/operators employed by 22 different companies, want stricter enforcement of established pay rates, as well as a moratorium on new port passes which allow drivers to enter the port. The union has previously had issues with what it refers to as: “undercutting, wait times, and lack of work available as the result of the port issuing too many licences.”
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