The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) which represents 49 of B.C.’s private sector waterfront employers and operators says ILWU Ship & Dock Foremen Local 514 (ILWU Local 514) has provided formal, written 72-hour strike notice of intended strike action against DP World (Canada) Inc.

A news release from the BCMEA late on Friday said the ILWU Local 514 is expected to start the strike action on July 8 at 4:30 p.m.

The notice comes despite the Canada Industrial Relations Board commencing a hearing this week to address complaints between the BCMEA and ILWU Local 514, the association said. The hearing is scheduled to continue next month.

Shipping Telegraph could not independently verify the reports.

The BCMEA and ILWU Local 514 have been negotiating on an industry-wide basis since November 2022.

“The stability and certainty of Canada’s West Coast ports and the nation’s supply chain are critically important to the BCMEA, our members and all Canadians,” the association said.

In a new update on Saturday July 6 the BCMEA said in a statement that it has “requested urgent interim intervention by the CIRB.”

“If interim relief is granted, ILWU Local 514’s strike action will be prevented,” the association noted, adding that “the CIRB has scheduled case management on the morning of Sunday, July 7th, to address this request.”

“We hope this matter will be resolved expeditiously at the CIRB. However, in the event that the CIRB allows the strike to proceed, the BCMEA believes it has no choice but to take defensive action in the form of an industry-wide lockout,” reads the BCMEA statement.

As informed, the BCMEA has issued formal notice to ILWU Local 514 of its intention to defensively lock out all ILWU Local 514 members on July 9, 2024, at 04:30pm.

“This coastwide lockout, should it be required, will shut down all cargo operations of BCMEA Member companies across the province, but will not affect cruise operations nor interrupt longshoring operations on grain vessels,” the association added.

In June, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU Canada) said it “stands in solidarity with ILWU Local 514 in its protracted negotiations with their employers.”

“Our Union will not rest until Local 514 gets a fair deal freely negotiated, for the Rank and File of ILWU Local 514,” it added.