Strike or lockout looming in ILWU Canada, SGS Prince Rupert dispute

Barring a last minute settlement, members of ILWU Canada working for grain inspection firm SGS in Prince Rupert will either be on strike or locked out today.

On Aug. 1, union members held a strike vote and voted 100 percent in favour of strike action in support of their effort to bargain a first collective agreement with SGS. Many GSU members will be familiar with SGS which provides grain inspection services to terminal elevators on the prairies. Although there are a host of unresolved issues, one of the key elements of the dispute is SGS’ effort to impose an hourly wage of $16.

“I’ve spoken to ILWU Canada president Rob Ashton and offered GSU’s support to the striking workers,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “At the moment it’s not clear how this dispute will affect grain handling on the prairies or in Prince Rupert, so we will monitor the situation closely.”
“There is also the high probability of dispute between ILWU Canada and SGS at the Port of Vancouver for many of the same reasons ” Wagner said.

“When GSU members have been in a dispute with one of our employers, ILWU Canada has been quick and ready to help, including generous financial support and honouring GSU picket lines at the Port of Vancouver.”