BC port strike could end pending approval of terms set by federal mediator

VANCOUVER — The BC port strike could be nearing its end after Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan gave a federal mediator 24 hours to send him recommended terms to resolve the dispute.

Once he gets the terms, he’ll forward them to both sides and they’ll have 24 hours to decide whether to ratify the principles of the deal.

O’Regan says the gap between the positions of the BC Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada is “not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage.”

Alberta premier Danielle Smith said in a tweet that she appreciates O’Regan’s efforts to end the strike and hopes for a resolution within 48 hours.

About 7,400 dock workers have been on strike since July 1, halting cargo in and out of more than 30 ports in BC, including Vancouver, Canada’s busiest port.

The workers say they’re fighting for jurisdiction over maintenance, protections against contracting out and automation, as well as pushing for higher wages.