British Columbia

Metro Vancouver ports to stay open as workers take limited job action

While its members will undertake targeted job action, such as a ban on overtime, the union's goal is to keep container terminals in Delta and Vancouver open during negotiations.

Port workers union to take targeted job action at GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm

The union said they were planning to take job action early Monday. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Longshore workers in Metro Vancouver will be taking limited job action starting Monday morning, but will not be putting up picket lines at the ports.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) says contract talks are continuing with the ports.

While its members will undertake targeted job action, such as a ban on overtime, the union's goal is to keep the Global Container terminals in Delta and Vancouver open during negotiations.

"Our goal is to keep the ports open with minimal disruption to trade," union president Rob Ashton said in a statement.

"We remain optimistic that a fair deal can be achieved through the constitutionally protected bargaining process."

The union voted over 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate earlier this month.

Jeff Scott, board chair for the BC Maritime Employers Association, said representatives from the port and the union worked into the "wee hours" of Monday morning and are committed to remaining at the table.

Scott said the union has not taken job action in over 20 years, and while he is pleased the union's actions will keep the ports open, he said any action at all is "disappointing" and disrupts business.

According to Scott, the Port of Vancouver contributes about $5 billion a day to the Canadian economy.

"Our focus remains on keeping the ports open for business, keeping goods flowing,' said Scott.

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