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BCMEA/ILWU Collective Agreement

IMG_0143The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) Local 514 have been in bargaining since the present collective agreement covering the West Coast of Canada expired in March 2018. Talks are not going well and have broken off.

We remind all that historically the Federal government does not have an appetite for enduring a strike or lock-out therefore we are optimistic that the Federally appointed mediator will be fairly influential. The Port of Vancouver is a fundamental backbone of the Canadian economy. Any strike or job action is usually short lived.

Please see below update received on January 28 from the BCMEA which is self-explanatory:

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UPDATE: Current status on bargaining with ILWU Canada Longshore and ILWU Ship and Dock Foremen Local 514. Longshore Bargaining After five (5) days of consecutive meetings last week and despite best efforts key issues remained unresolved between the Parties. The parties, however, reached agreement to file a joint notice of dispute with the Minister of Labour who will now appoint a conciliation officer to the on-going contract renewal discussion. That notice was filed on Friday, January 25, 2019. Note, the Minister has up to 15 days to appoint a conciliation officer.

The filing of this joint notice of dispute triggered the following time line under the Canada Labour Code: Applying the time line above to a calendar means the 21st day following termination of conciliation will be Wednesday May 01, 2019. During the 21-day period either party can issue 72 hours strike or lockout notice provided they satisfy the requirements of having held a vote and received a mandate from the majority who voted. We remain cautiously optimistic that the parties will achieve a renewal agreement with the assistance of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services (FMCS). Foremen Bargaining Dates have been scheduled for early February to meet with ILWU Ship and Dock Foremen Local 51

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On January 25 joint notices of dispute were filed by both parties – the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) at which point talks had effectively broken down. As of today, February 19 – the Minister of Labour appointed Ms. Kathy M. Peters as Conciliation Officer whose goal is to facilitate a renewal collective agreement. Hopefully this is a sign of progress to come.