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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

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

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Most Read