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West Coast shipping industry lockout possible Thursday

Last Updated May 28, 2019 at 4:04 pm PST

GCT Deltaport, Delta, British Columbia. (Source: GCT Delaport)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is a planned lockout of the West Coast shipping industry as of Thursday.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada says port employers have announced the move after ongoing contract talks turned sour.

The BC Maritime Employers’ Association’s move comes after the union representing more than 6,500 workers, walked away from the bargaining table on Monday.

The only exception to this lockout includes anyone involved in cruise ship and grain operations.

RELATED: Ports open, no trade disruptions during Monday’s strike: union

“This is a reckless, irresponsible and needless decision that will undermine the economy of BC and Canada,” said union president Rob Ashton in a statement. “The BCMEA would like the unlimited right to eliminate good jobs that support middle-class families. We believe that is not proper or fair for our members or the communities in which they live and work,” Ashton added.

The union has been in negotiations for the past 18 months to renew the contract that expired March 31, 2018.

-With files from Renee Bernard and Lauren Boothby