B.C. Port Strike Ends as Tentative Deal Reached

Trade Update • July 13, 2023

he 13-day B.C. port strike appears to be over after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association agreed to a tentative four-year deal on Thursday morning, both parties have confirmed.

According to a statement from the union, the agreement came just 10 minutes before the 10:30 a.m. PT deadline for reviewing recommended settlement terms from a federal mediator.

The agreement still needs to be ratified by both sides and no details about the terms have been made public, but a release from the B.C. Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) said it hopes to return to normal operations soon.

“The BCMEA recognizes and regrets the significant impact this labour disruption has had on the economy, businesses, workers, customers and, ultimately, all Canadians,” the statement said.

“We must collectively work together to not only restore cargo operations as quickly and safely as possible but to also rebuild the reputation of Canada’s largest gateway and ensure supply chain stability and resilience for the future.”

About 7,400 workers have been on strike since July 1, halting shipments in and out of about 30 ports in B.C., including Canada’s largest, the Port of Vancouver.

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says there are 63,000 shipping containers stuck on vessels waiting at B.C. ports to be unloaded, and that number may balloon to 245,000 if the strike persists to the end of July.

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan has said the gap between the union and the employers’ association is “not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage.”

Western premiers who were at a meeting of provincial and territorial leaders in Winnipeg this week were unanimous that the dispute needs to be resolved.

This is an excerpt of CBC’s article.


Stay in the loop, stay compliant! Get weekly or daily insights into all things trade and event invites, delivered right to your inbox.