Vancouver: The union representing port workers in British Columbia has issued a 72-hour strike notice. The union said its members are ready to walk off the job on Saturday.

The strike notice affects more than 7,000 terminal cargo loaders at B.C. ports.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada says its members voted 99.24 per cent in favour of strike action earlier this month against the BC Maritime Employers Association.

Contracting out, port automation and cost of living are key issues in the dispute.

A statement from the longshore workers says management continues to demand concessions.

The two sides had been in a cooling-off period but that ended on June 21, after the previous contract expired on March 30. 

Federal ministers and B.C Premier David Eby are urging the province’s port workers and employers to find a way to avert a potential strike.

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra urged both sides to hash out a deal at the bargaining table. — Canadian Press. 

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