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2,000 workers set to strike at key Vancouver container terminals

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DH Vancouver Staff May 24, 2019 9:59 am

Two thousand waterfront workers at two key container terminals operated by the Port of Vancouver are poised to walk off the job at 7 am on Monday.

The news comes after a vote held earlier this month by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union overwhelmingly in favour of taking a job action.

The strike action is happening at Global Container Terminals, which currently services 50% of all containers transiting through Canada, according to its website.

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It operates on-dock rail yards at GCT Vanterm and GCT Deltaport. Considered Canada’s “flagship container terminal,” Deltaport is heralded as the Gateway of the Pacific when it comes to berthing container vessels and shipping goods across the region.

One member of the industry says the economic impact of having the workers off the job could top hundreds of millions of dollars every single day.

Mike Leonard, president and CEO of the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, said in a letter obtained by Daily Hive that 72-hour strike notice was issued Thursday — calling it “an unfortunate step.”

Leonard says the BCMEA plans to bargain in good faith in hopes of avoiding the strike action, and warns that workers walking off the job would have a crippling effect to the ports, and the entire economy.

“We are deeply concerned about the disruptive impact that a potential strike will have, not only on the jobs and economic security of individual citizens, but also to the broader Canadian economy.”

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