Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trouble on the waterfront?

The National Post is reporting in a story posted online this morning, that West Coast ports may be shut down due to a labour dispute as early as January.

Negotiations between the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have been working with a conciliator for the last sixty days, but it would seem that the nature of those negotiations isn't developing in a positive light, with the 450 ship and dock foremen with ILWU Local 514 reportedly presenting a number of outstanding letters of understanding to the table, which has not be welcomed by the Maritime Employers association.

If the 450 foremen seek job action in January, they will effectively take with them the 4500 unionized longshore workers, who despite recently settling their differences with their employer would be affected by the Local 514 action.

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association warned that the negotiations were not going well of late and should there not be a contract signed by this weekend, then shippers would begin to seek out other ports to move their product through.

The full story is available at the Financial Post portion of the National Post website.

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