Thursday, January 24, 2008

Labour agreement reached for West Coast ports

The BC Longshore workers union and BC Marine Employers reached a tentative labour agreement on Thursday night, after a number of weeks of comprehensive discussion on a number of interests of mutual concern.

The negotiations went into extra sessions, with the two sides returning to the bargaining table on Wednesday after reaching what they described as positive progress over last weekend.

No details were released about the terms of the three year agreement, which the two sides agreed to at 9:30 on Thursday evening.

The agreement if ratified by the ILWU membership would remove the threat of labour disruptions on the West Coast of British Columbia, which could have seen picket lines set up as early as mid February.

During the course of the negotiations, a union recommendation to its members to boycott a federally mandated security check had to be rescinded after a successful Labour Relations Board challenge in the courts. It made for an interesting sidebar to the labour oriented negotiations that had been going on in quest of a new labour agreement.

The labour negotiations also wrapped up, just as a report presented to Federal Government's Trade Minister recommended that some wholesale changes need to be made to the entire human resources structure of the West Coast ports.

While those thoughts were never part of the most recent negotiating sessions, we can all assume that they’ll become major talking points during the course of this three year agreement.
We’ll provide a link to the full details of the agreement when one becomes available.

British Columbia Marine Employers website
International Longshore and Warehouse Union website

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