The union representing more than 7,000 terminal cargo movers in ports throughout British Columbia has scheduled a strike vote as it negotiates a new collective agreement.

Rob Ashton, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada, says in a bulletin to members that the union's negotiating committee has authorized a strike vote that will take place June 9 and 10.

The collective agreement expired on March 30 and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association and the union have been negotiating a new contract since February.

The employers association, which represents 49 private-sector employers in ports from Vancouver to Prince Rupert, says in a statement that it will continue to negotiate to reach "a fair and balanced deal" that ensures proper compensation and the competitiveness of B.C.'s ports.

The two sides are currently in a cooling-off period until June 21, after the union filed a notice of dispute in March that required federally mandated conciliation that ended on May 30.

Canadian law prevents either side from exercising their right to labour action for 21 days after the end of conciliation, and both the union and the employers association say job action can't be conducted before June 21, leaving the earliest possible strike date of June 24.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2023.