Both sides in the ongoing British Columbia port strike will have to decide today whether to accept terms of a settlement recommended by a federal mediator that would end the 13-day-old industrial action.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association were given 24 hours to review the recommendations ordered by federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, and decide if the deal is acceptable.
About 7,400 workers have been on strike since July 1, halting shipments in and out of about 30 ports in B.C., including Canada’s largest, the Port of Vancouver.
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says there are 63,000 shipping containers stuck on vessels waiting at B.C. ports to be unloaded, and that number may balloon to 245,000 if the strike persists to the end of July.
O’Regan has said the gap between the union and the employers’ association is “not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage.”
Western premiers who were at a meeting of provincial and territorial leaders in Winnipeg this week were unanimous that the dispute needs to be resolved.