Work stoppage in support of Juneteenth shuts down West Coast ports

Union has 60,000 members who work in ports in Alaska, B.C., south to California and Hawaii

Ports along the West Coast of Canada and the United States are quiet as workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union stop operations to support racial equality and social justice.

A statement from the union says the eight-hour action honours Juneteenth, the celebration of the liberation of slaves in the United States on June 19, 1865.

The union has 60,000 members who work in ports in Alaska, B.C., south to California and Hawaii.

A statement posted by the Canadian union, which is autonomous from its U.S. counterpart, says the organizations have “a proud history of defending the rights and dignity of people.”

The work stoppage will affect B.C. operations within the Port of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Stewart and Chemainus.

JUNETEENTH: A day of joy and pain – and now national action

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which manages the Port of Vancouver, didn’t respond to the union action, but the Port of Tacoma in Washington state issued a statement recognizing Juneteenth.

“With this proclamation, the port is making it clear where we stand: We stand with our African American community members and that Black lives matter,” said Kristin Ang, a Port of Tacoma commissioner in a tweet posted by the port.

Rob Ashton, president of Canadian union, says in a statement that systemic racism is built into all levels of life in the United States, but this country shares the blame, in the past and the present.

“We also had slavery, there was the internment of Japanese Canadians, the incident of the Komagata Maru and the residential schools,” writes Ashton.

“In present day, we have the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and we see systemic racism in Canadian society.”

Work in the ports would resume with the start of the afternoon shift, the union says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Vancouver man hit by a semi-tractor trailer near Burns Lake

The injured man is in critical condition

RDBN closer to a solution for ICI cardboard recycling

The Knockholt Landfill cardboard ban gets keyplayers to seek a long-term fix

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read