Lockout Halts Shipments At Vancouver

Friday, November 12, 1999
Shipments through Vancouver, Canada's busiest port, came to an almost complete halt as employers imposed a lockout on unionized longshore workers in a bid to force an end to a contract dispute. No talks are scheduled between the British Columbia Marine Employers Association and the unionized workers at the port of Vancouver, and federal officials have said the government has no immediate plans to force a settlement. The previous labor contract between employers and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union of Canada expired in 1998, and the two sides are at odds over several issues including wages and the use of non-union labor. The lockout has stopped the loading and unloading of all goods except bulk grains exports and some coal destined for Japan and effects nearly $61.2 million per day in shipments, according to a port official. The employers said they had been forced to impose a lockout to bring an end to the dispute, because ships began diverting to U.S. ports after Oct. 20, when the union was in a legal position to call a strike.

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