“We are a service provider to the industry — primarily to labour relations and training and secondarily in terms of government relations and social outreach.

VANCOUVER — More than two dozen of the longshoremen unloading container ships on the docks of Metro Vancouver are Hells Angels, their associates, other gangsters or people with serious criminal records, a investigation has found.

The infiltration of gangsters and criminals into the port workforce is perpetuated by a longtime employment practice that allows existing union members to nominate friends, relatives and associates when new jobs become available.

It’s followed by a section titled Drug Trafficking Organizations, about half of which has been removed.

Details of Mexican cartels, including the Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Knights Templar and the South Pacific Cartel were provided in the report between blanked out sections about “port seizures” and strategic implications.

Workers are screened for links to organized crime and criminal records before those passes, known as TSC, are issued.

But Smith said the restricted zones at the port are small compared to the areas accessed with the general pass.“If you are talking about access of workers to long rows of containers which are in lightly populated work areas day or night, the TSC doesn’t come into it,” he said.

Morgan said it’s unfair to compare the two as there are also areas at the airport where workers don’t need the high-security clearance.“I think that the marine transportation security regulations have set out very robust security requirements for the vessels, the ports, the marine facilities and the purpose of those regulations is to enhance the international framework for the deterrence and prevention and detection of acts that may threaten security in the marine port,” Morgan said.“We are continuously reviewing and enhancing our marine security regime and that includes our security regulations, our standards, our procedures in order to maintain that security environment.”Senator Colin Kenny, who has been outspoken on national security issues, was in Vancouver last fall talking to Port Metro Vancouver officials about security.

He thinks more should be done to deal with organized crime on the waterfront, an issue that crops up every few years but never gets addressed.

Police say organized crime maintains this foothold on the waterfront for strategic purposes — so drugs and other contraband can be smuggled in some of the more than 1.5 million containers that pass through the four container terminals at Port Metro Vancouver every year.