A lockout of about 6,500 longshore workers at British Columbia’s ports ended after less than three hours following a tentative contract agreement between their union and employers.
The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) lifted its lockout order, which affected about 6,500 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)-Canada shortly before 11:00 a.m. PDT on May 30. The lockout had brought Canada’s largest port, Vancouver, to a standstill along with its smaller cousins in the province.
The ILWU agreed to cease its labor action at Vancouver’s Deltaport and Vanterm, which had precipitated the BCMEA lockout order.
As news of the deal spread, ILWU members quickly packed up their picket lines.
The BCMEA, which represents companies operating at the ports, and the ILWU-Canada held overnight talks, which continued as the lockout began. The federal government mediated the discussions, which included the Minister of Labor, Patty Hajdu.
A contract between the BCMEA and ILWU-Canada longshore workers expired in 2018. Terms of the tentative agreement have yet to be released, though they likely include provisions related to automation at the ports – a key issue for the union.