The union representing thousands of striking British Columbia port workers is asking the federal government to not interfere after business groups called for back-to-work legislation.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada’s president, Rob Ashton, held a news conference Sunday afternoon after 7,400 members walked off the job Saturday morning.
Ashton says federally mediated talks with the BC Maritime Employers Association are ongoing, and warns talks should continue to preserve ‘labour peace’ on the waterfront.
Business groups across Canada have sounded the alarm about the potential economic impact of the strike, which affects thousands of cargo loaders and 49 of the province’s waterfront employers at more than 30 ports across the province.
In response to calls for back-to-work legislation, a spokesman for Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said in a statement that the federal government is not looking past the bargaining table because the best deals are made there.
The union has previously said contracting out, port automation and cost of living are key issues in the dispute.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2023.