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Canada port strike ruled illegal by industrial relations board

Photo: Prince Rupert Port Authority fairview-container-terminal.jpeg
Canada’s Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has ordered labour unions to call off a planned 72-hour strike at DP World (Canada).

International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Ship & Dock Foremen, Local 514, had called a strike from 8 July at DP World (Canada) from around 4:30pm (Pacific Time) following a vote of members.

The British Colombia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) responded saying if the strike went ahead it would call an industry wide lockout at ports on Canada’s west coast. “In targeting DP World (Canada) Inc., ILWU Local 514 is unfairly isolating a single terminal operator to create uncertainty and chaos, while many industry-wide issues remain unresolved in our shared collective bargaining process,” BCMEA.

The employers’ association also lodged an urgent application with the CIRB to rule on whether the planned strike was legal.

The CIRB said it found the unions had authorised a strike in contravention with the Canada Labour Code.

“More specifically, the Board finds that, in the circumstances of this case, the union failed to bargain in good faith when it conducted a strike vote amongst the employees of only one member employer of the BCMEA and issued a strike notice based on that strike vote.”

The board directed the ILWU to rescind the strike notice.

In the BCMEA has now rescinded its industry-wide lockout notice.

“The BCMEA is disappointed that these steps needed to be taken to ensure the stability of Canada's West Coast ports, but is pleased with the outcome of the Board's decision,” the employers’ association said.