Dockers get eight-year deal that adds perks for women

Contract reached through negotiation but parties divided on future of that model
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2011

At a time when most agreements are not extending beyond a few years, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the B.C. Maritime Employers Assn. (BCMEA) have reached an historic eight-year agreement.

“We were looking for a contract that reflected the stability and security of the port,” said Greg Verdula, vice-president of marketing and IT with the BCMEA.

The deal includes an average wage increase of 3.5 per cent every year of the agreement, plus a cost of living factor starting in year six to protect workers if inflation exceeds their wage in the final three years of the agreement. It also includes maternity and paternity top-up benefits for the first time, and a 40 per cent increase in pension contributions.