Monday, April 17, 2023

Down in the Hole ... A New Hall Awaits??

The location of the once ILWU Labour hall on First Avenue West

A piece of Prince Rupert Labour History didn't make for much resistance last month,  as the ILWU Hall at First Avenue West and Eighth Street came down pretty quickly at the hands of a demolition team. 

The home of dispatch for generation of long shore workers now but a hole in the ground awaiting its next task. 

The makings of a construction site are in place, though to this point there is little in the way of work taking place around the area,  other than the placement of fencing along the entire site that borders the Highliner Inn.

The makings of a work site are in place on the property

The iconic Labour Hall and its Dispatch Board got a shout out back in 2019 by long time labour observer and report Rod Mickleburgh who was in town for a BC FED conference in the city.

Veteran labour reporter Rod Mickleburgh stopped in at the ILWU Hall in 2019

The Local ILWU 505 hall was one of a number of destinations that make for the Prince Rupert Stop on the BC Labour Hertiage Centre's Walking tours, an app based tour guid and history lesson towards important Labour locations in the province.

While they await further news on future plans for a new Dispatch Hall, the local shoreworkes are operating out of the basement of a local church, that being the Prince Rupert Church of Christ at Conrad and Prince Rupert Boulevard.

ILWU members have relocated for now to the east side of the City
and the basement of the Church of Christ

Whether the dispatch hall becomes a Strike Central by the summer,  won't be known for at least another month or so at the earliest.

As we outlined last month both the ILWU and the employer on the waterfront the BCMEA are involved in ongoing labour discussions.  

Though the progress has been glacial, the last public note on the situation that of a call for a Federal conciliator to step into the talks.

That request resulted in the appointment of Two Conciliation officers, the details on the process ahead can be reviewed from this information release from the BCMEA.

More notes on Labour in the region can be explored through our archive page.

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