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Home Balitang Migrante <strong>Standing in Solidarity with the ILWU Canada</strong>

Standing in Solidarity with the ILWU Canada

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<strong>Standing in Solidarity with the ILWU Canada</strong>

By Migrante Canada

Migrante BC stood in solidarity and support with striking longshore workers at the union rally at the Jack Poole Plaza last July 9, 2023, which marked the 9th day of strike action.

The striking workers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) were joined by affiliated groups that included maritime unions from Australia, New Zealand, Southern California, other local labour unions and federations, and community groups in a massive show of solidarity and support. Unions of maritime and transport workers from all over the world sent their messages of support and solidarity to the ILWU Canada. The rally highlighted the striking workers’ demand for a fair contract settlement with its employer, the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA).

In its strike notice, the ILWU sought “to stop the erosion of their work through contracting out, to protect current and future generations from the devastating impacts of port automation, and to protect longshore workers from record high inflation and sky rocketing cost of living.”

On July 13, the ILWU Canada accepted a tentative agreement with the BCMEA. With this agreement, the ILWU ended their 13-day strike that disrupted operations in the province’s port and cargo terminals.

The ILWU represents some 7400 workers at more than 30 terminals across British Columba. In the three and a half years of the COVID-19 pandemic, dock workers laboured to keep the ports open, commerce flowing, and communities running.  As essential workers, they risked infection and death while their employers made record profits on the back of these workers.

Migrante BC applaud the ILWU leaders and workers in their persistence and determination to secure a collective agreement to protect their jobs, including going on strike action. Indeed, the ILWU chant of “When we fight, we win!”  said it well.  As a community group of migrant workers, we witness the strong solidarity and support from the other unions, internationally and locally, and we were proud to be there.

Long live international solidarity! ###