ILWU Canada joins international cargo organization

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by Emily Atkins

Canada’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has joined the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA).

ICHCH is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety, security, sustainability, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and goods movement by all modes and through all phases of national and international supply chains.

ILWU Canada was launched in 1948 to represent workers in British Columbia’s ports sector. Now its members are involved in the loading, unloading and checking of cargo to and from vessels, and the storage of these goods on the docks and in warehouses across the country.

ILWU Canada advocates for workplace health and safety for its over 7,000 members on the west coast of Canada.

In a statement ICHCA said: “We believe that re-establishing our membership of ICHCA is an important step. We feel it is important for ILWU Canada in engage at the international level in the areas of health and safety. We hope to engage in work at the technical panel level with ICHCA. It is important to have workers voices at the table”

ICHCA’s has privileged NGO status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and other UN agencies which allows it, on behalf of its members to monitor, contribute to, and influence the development of regulations and guidelines that impact cargo handling and movement worldwide.

“We at ICHCA are proud of the role we have in improving industry standards through coalescing the expertise and knowledge of the world class organizations that make up our membership.  The addition of ILWU Canada to that number is a significant positive step in exerting our collective influence over that improvement,” said ICHCA’s CEO Richard Steele. 

“To count ILWU Canada within our number provides additional evidence of ICHCA’s expanding reach across all aspects of the vast business of moving cargo around the world.”