A strike that almost completely disrupted Canada’s largest and third-largest ports for almost two weeks was to set resume at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in what many will likely considered an unexpected development.
British Columbia Marine Employers Association issued a press release Tuesday afternoon informing that it has received notice from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that it plans to engage in renewed strike activity at 4:30 p.m.
While it is not entirely clear where this promised strike activity will take place and for how long, the development marks a major setback in bringing labour peace to B.C.’s and Canada’s most important ports.
According to BCMEA, IWLU’s internal caucus leadership has rejected the tentative agreement reached last week.
The agreement said to be four years long was subject to ratification by members of both the union and the maritime employers. According to BCMEA’s release, IWLU’s leadership never presented the deal to a ratification vote.
BCMEA and IWLU had announced the tentative agreement Thursday with operations returning to normal that day. A senior federal mediator had previously developed a settlement agreement.
More than 7,400 workers had walked off the job on July 1 after months of negotiations under the guidance of a federal facilitator. The strike affected the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert, Canada’s largest and third-largest respectively, with ramifications across B.C., Canada and the rest of the world.