Day six of B.C. port strike as management calls for binding arbitration
The organization that represents employers at roughly 30 strikebound ports in British Columbia says binding arbitration could end the six-day-old dispute.
More than 7,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off the job on Canada Day after voting overwhelmingly to strike against the BC Maritime Employers Association.
Talks stalled Monday and business groups are increasingly demanding federal legislation to end the disruption, while CP Rail, now known as CPCK Ltd., says it has issued temporary embargoes on rail traffic to the Port of Vancouver.
The latest statement from the employers association says binding arbitration could bring the dispute to a swift close, something it first proposed in mid-June in the weeks before workers went off the job.
Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan discussed the strike with his B.C. counterpart, Labour Minister Harry Bains, on Wednesday, but O’Regan has so far resisted calls to legislate the strikers back to work.
A key sticking point for the union is the classification of maintenance work and the use of outside contractors, which longshore workers say encroaches on their jurisdiction.
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