VANCOUVER, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The International Longshore and Warehouse
Union Canada has no plans to issue a strike notice at this time,
contrary to statements by senior staff at the British Columbia Maritime
Employers Association to the effect that a strike could begin as early
In fact, the BCMEA and the ILWU are scheduled to be back at the
negotiating table on Monday, February 7 and it is the ILWU's goal to
reach an agreement that we have been in search of since bargaining
started in January 2010.
"It is the height of irresponsibility for the BCMEA to make these
comments which will only create uncertainty, a circumstance the BCMEA
claims to be trying to avoid," said ILWU President Tom Dufresne.
Throughout the negotiations the BCMEA's primary agenda has been to seek
legislative change to curtail the free collective bargaining rights of
ILWU members, rather than to get an agreement.
An independent judicial tribunal - the Canada Industrial Relations Board
- ruled just a few days ago that industry-wide bargaining is optional,
not mandatory. Accordingly, the BCMEA's media statements predicting
the shutdown of the entire Pacific coast industry are misleading and
The Board also found that the BCMEA's legislative agenda has "infected"
and "overshadowed" the negotiations.
It's not surprising that the CIRB would come to this conclusion.
The BCMEA turned its back on a solution that was developed after months
of thoughtful consideration by two highly respected and experienced
labour relations experts - the Honourable Ted Hughes and Mr. John
Rooney -- who served as special mediators. This reasonable solution
was rejected out of hand by the BCMEA in favour of pressing its agenda
to curtail the free collective bargaining rights of ILWU members.
"Irresponsible brinkmanship on the part of the BCMEA has brought us to
this point. In spite of the fact that the BCMEA continues to prefer
conflict over compromise, the ILWU remains ready to enter into a
reasonable settlement that will bring prosperity and stability to the
Pacific Gateway," Mr. Dufresne concluded.
SOURCE International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada
For further information:
Jim Thompson 613-447-9592