B.C.-wide port lockout lifted as union, employer sign tentative deal

Deal still pending ratification by union members

Ports across B.C. are not shutting down after a “tentative agreement” was reached between the union and the BC Maritime Employers Association.

In news release late Thursday morning, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said all night negotiations had led to a tentative deal.

The lockout, which was scheduled at 8 a.m. Thursday for all B.C. ports, will be lifted. The deal was reached with the help of federal mediators.

No details will be released until union members vote to ratify the deal.

Jeff Scott, chairman of the employers association, said the agreement will continue to allow B.C.’s ports to be competitive.

The lockout was lifted and a statement from the association said normal operations would resume late Thursday afternoon.

“We appreciate the efforts of both parties to focus on reaching agreement and ensuring B.C. ports remain open for business,” Scott said.

Automation was a key issue in the talks, with the employers association saying it would protect and enhance jobs while the union countered that automation would “decimate” ports and harm workers.

The last collective agreement expired March 31, 2018, and the union says negotiations began 18 months ago.

The employers association represents about 55 companies that employ about 7,000 workers. It said about 60 million tonnes of goods worth $53 billion are moved in and out of the ports every year.

“We are confident that this agreement, once signed, will secure a positive long-term outlook for trade and operations at our terminals, for the province and for the country,” Scott said.

READ MORE: Port workers locked out province wide, but Prince Rupert port remains operational

READ MORE: Negotiations continued through the night in effort to avoid B.C. port lockout


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

River rescue near Fernie prompts log jam warning

The City of Fernie announced at the beginning of August a dangerous… Continue reading

Black Pistol Fire ignites Wapiti festival crowd

Off stage, Kevin McKeown is a calm, collected individual. On stage, he… Continue reading

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read