Unionized port workers in British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly in favour of authorizing a strike.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union of Canada (ILWU) said Monday that an eye-popping 99.24 per cent of members cast a ballot supporting job action if necessary. The union, which represents more than 7,000 terminal cargo movers in B.C., has been locked in tough contract talks with the B.C. Maritime Employers Association since February. Both parties have denied any comments regarding the situation while it is underway.
A statement on the union’s website says it aims to reach a “fair and balanced deal” that ensures proper compensation and the competitiveness of B.C.’s ports. The workers, based primarily in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, handle roughly 16 per cent of Canada’s internationally traded goods. Business leaders have warned a port strike could have a damaging effect on the Canadian economy and post-pandemic supply chain recovery, while undermining the West Coast’s reputation and role in the global shipping sector.