BC Port Workers Union Issues Strike Notice for July 1 [Updated]

Trade Update • July 11, 2023

n June 28, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) workers issued a 72-hour strike notice. The strike will begin on Saturday, July 1, 2023, and comes after ILWU members voted 99.24% in favour of a strike.

The ILWU represents over 7,000 terminal cargo loaders at West Coast ports including the Port of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. The ILWU strike is affecting more than 35 terminals across British Columbia.

ILWU said in a statement on Wednesday that its goal is to protect jobs and claims the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association is demanding major concessions.

“Their only objective is to take away rights and conditions from longshore workers after having gorged themselves on record profits during the pandemic,” stated Rob Ashton, president of the ILWU Canada.

BCMEA countered in a statement that it has advanced multiple proposals and positions, “with the objective of making progress and achieving a fair deal at the table.”

Issues include port automation, union concerns about the loss of work through “contracting out,” and cost of living, specifically, inflation’s impact on workers’ income level.

This is an excerpt of CNBC’s article.


To assist in alleviating labour disruptions, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) is advising marine carriers, as an interim measure to the ILWU strike, not to transmit the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) until such time that the marine carrier is certain the vessel will be coming into port, berthing and confirmed as discharging.


GHY will continue monitoring this situation, and provide any updates on impacts. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out directly to your Account Manager.


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