Canadian ILWU dockers threaten strike
A labor dispute involving Canadian union dockers could impact ports from Vancouver to Prince Rupert in British Columbia if the union follows through on a threat to strike Jan. 2.
Members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 514 near Vancouver have been without a contract since March 2007. According to officials of the B.C. Maritime Employers' Association, the dispute involves just nearly 500 workers and centers on several points including pension benefits for union foremen.
While the BCMEA said talks are progressing, association officials said they were moving slowly.
Officials at the Port of Prince Rupert said that if the workers strike, it is likely to impact the port's large grain export facility. A private firm hired by the port to service the facility subcontracts work to the ILWU members.
Canadian law mandates that grain shipments be handled even during a strike, but the Canadian Parliament, which is in recess until Jan. 27, would have to force the dockers back to work.