Thousands of dockers in British Columbia, Canada, go on strike Ship’s crew


July 1 (Reuters) – Several thousand unionized dockers in Canada’s western province of British Columbia went on strike after failing to reach an agreement to extend an industry-wide contract that expired in March, an employers’ group at the port said saturday with

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) said it and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU Canada) met Thursday and Friday for talks facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

“Unfortunately, no provisional agreement could be reached,” the BCMEA said in a statement.

Members of ILWU Canada were striking at locations across British Columbia, the BCMEA said. The union was asked for comment and said it would issue a statement once the dispute over the wage agreement, which affects some 7,500 workers at 30 terminals in the province, is settled.

The strike could have serious consequences for Canada’s economy and small businesses, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said in a statement. The group called on the government to ensure port operations are maintained.

On Wednesday, the dockers’ union said it had issued a 72-hour strike notice.

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Canada’s Labor Secretary Seamus O’Regan Jr. said BCMEA and ILWU Canada remain at the negotiating table and working towards an agreement, adding that federal mediators continue to assist the parties in their negotiations.

($1 = 1.3236 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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