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Strike action resumes at B.C. ports after tentative deal rejected


Update, July 19: When CTV News Vancouver cameras visited the port Wednesday morning, picket lines had been taken down again. Read more here. The original story follows.

Workers at B.C.'s ports were back on the picket line Tuesday afternoon after a tentative deal to end strike action was voted down by union leadership.

The deal was proposed by a mediator after the federal labour minister intervened in an attempt to bring an end to the labour action. It was ratified by the employer on July 13.

In a statement, International Longshore Workers Union Canada says the deal was rejected, giving no indication that it was ever sent to the membership for a vote.

"The ILWU Canada Longshore Caucus does not believe the recommendations had the ability to protect our jobs now or into the future," a media release issued Tuesday says. "Our position since day one has been to protect our jurisdiction and this position has not changed."

The four-year term of the collective agreement was "far too long" and cost of living demands were not met, the statement says by way of explaining the decision.

"We must be able to readdress the uncertainty in the world’s financial markets for our members," it continued.

The BC Maritime Employers Association, in its own statement, slammed the union's decision, saying it simultaneously rejects a fair deal for workers and imperils the Canadian economy.

"ILWU Leadership is choosing to further harm Canada’s economy, international reputation and most importantly, to Canadians, their livelihoods and all those that rely on a stable supply chain," the statement said.

"Clearly this fair and equitable package wasn’t enough for the ILWU internal leadership, and they chose to instead remain entrenched in their position with little regard to the lives and jobs they are impacting." 

The deal ended a 13-day work-stoppage that saw 7,400 dock workers walk off the job and stopped billions in goods from flowing into and out of the ports. Top Stories

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