The B.C. Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) went ahead with a province wide lockout of its workers on Thursday morning, May 30, leaving over 6,000 employees on the sidelines.
However, the Prince Rupert port remains fully operational for the time being, the largest port in the province to do so. Freda Pike, the secretary treasurer of International Longshore Warehouse Union Local (ILWU) 505, confirmed this in a phone call.
“We’re going to perform work as usual right now, and wait for direction,” said Pike.
DP World, the operators of Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert, who would be responsible for enacting the lockout, could not yet be reached for comment.
Jeff Scott, board chair of the BCMEA, said what is happening in Prince Rupert was not meant to be the case.
“It’s an industry wide lockout. The lockout was meant to apply to all the employers within the BCMEA,” Scott said.
As for when the strike might end, Scott said he hopes for a quick resolution.
“We’re still at the bargaining table, still in discussions, lockout notice has not been lifted, but we remain hopeful,” said Scott. “We’re working very hard to make it short.”
The move is expected to have massive economic repercussions for both B.C. and the country, especially due to the halting of operations at the port in Vancouver.
Alex Kurial | Journalist