Defend the Dignity of Labour

BC Port Workers on Strike in Defence of Their Rights

Berth 10, July 3, 2023

Seven thousand four hundred port workers across BC went on strike July 1 to defend their working conditions and the pay and benefits they receive from the sale of their capacity to work. The conditions in which they work are such that they are profoundly concerned for the security of their employment in particular against contracting out, which targets them as disposable workers and weakens their unity as an organized force within a union. Should the employers prevail in setting the untenable working conditions and instability of employment which would result from the concessions they are demanding, another major concern will become the workers' health and safety. Their employers are also introducing automation without taking into consideration the well-being of the workforce or the necessity to activate the human factor which takes up social responsibility. Automation without activating the human factor to take up social responsibility spells trouble.

BC port workers are facing difficult issues affecting their working lives and social conditions. The support they have received from their counterparts all over the world clearly shows that their demands are just and that workers all over the world are being abused for the same reasons and are also fighting back. Canadians also stand with them and demand that the authorities in control of the ports and governments address and resolve these matters in a respectful manner and reach a contract agreeable to the port workers.

That is what will provide stability to the supply chains, not the privatization of the ports, not contracting out, not lower wages and deteriorated health and safety provisions. All attempts on the part of government spokespersons or the monopoly media to put the blame on the workers for disruptions to supply chains are nothing but self-serving repetition of the narratives of the private interests which control the transportation networks and ports. They should be scoffed at as part of standing firm to support the port workers' just cause.

This article was published in
Number 35 - July 5, 2023

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