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B.C. ports in limbo as union removes weekend strike notice

International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada did not elaborate on reasons for change

The union representing about 7,400 port workers in B.C. withdrew plans to resume their strike this weekend as the federal government weighs its options to resolve the labour dispute that has threatened supply chains across the country.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada said in a statement late Wednesday that it had “removed” the 72-hour strike notice it issued earlier, but gave no reasons or details behind the decision.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped up Ottawa’s response to B.C. ports potentially shutting down again, convening an incident response group meeting and asking ministers and senior officials to pursue all available options.

Trudeau also spoke with B.C. Premier David Eby about the labour dispute between the union and the BC Maritime Employers Association and agreed on the need to “ensure the stability” of national supply chains.

The union initially relaunched its strike on Tuesday after announcing its caucus had rejected a tentative deal reached last week, but removed picket lines and returned to work after the Canadian Industrial Relations Board ruled the workers needed to give 72-hour notice for the strike to be legal.

The strike originally started on July 1 and ran for 13 days, shutting down or severely disrupting operations at the more than 30 B.C. port terminals and other sites where union members work — including Vancouver, the country’s largest port.

READ ALSO: Trudeau convenes crisis group over B.C. port strike as union gives notice

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