International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada plans limited job action at Vanterm and Deltaport

No picket lines will go up as long as contract talks continue

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      There won't be a large-scale walkout on Monday (May 27) at Port of Vancouver operations.

      This is even though 72-hours' strike notice will have elapsed and workers will be in a legal position to cease working.

      The president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada, Rob Ashton, revealed late today that no picket lines will go up.

      "Our goal is to keep the ports open with minimal disruption to trade,” Ashton said in a news release.

      This will come as a relief to those who rely on the port to export and import goods.

      However, Ashton emphasized that members of ILWU locals 500 and 502 plan "limited and targeted action" at Global Containers Terminal at Vanterm and Deltaport while contract talks continue.

      That includes a ban on overtime work.

      The union says it's been negotiating for 18 months to renew a collective agreement, which expired on March 31, 2018.

      A key issue is automation of the workplace.

      “We made the difficult decision to exercise our constitutional right to engage in job action because all other means have failed to achieve an agreement,” Ashton said. “We remain optimistic that a fair deal can be achieved through the constitutionally protected bargaining process.”

      In a 2007 decision involving the Hospital Employees' Union, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that collective bargaining rights are protected under section 2 d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of association.


      The ILWU issued a news release at 5 a.m. on Monday (May 27) saying that contract talks with the B.C. Martime Employers Association broke down early this morning. No talks are scheduled.

      The union reiterated its statement that it will take "limited and targeted job action" this morning, but no picket lines will go up.