End in sight for Vancouver port work stoppage (Updated)

by | Jul 12, 2023 | 0 comments

Update On July 13 notice was received by Ministry of Labour that both the BCMEA and the ILWU have accepted the Terms of Settlement from federal mediators. The parties have reached a tentative agreement. The parties are finalizing details for the resumption of work at the ports.

Update July 18: The strike resumed Tuesday July 18 after the longshore workers union rejected a tentative mediated deal, saying that the mediated deal did not meet cost-of-living requirements.

Update July 19: Picket lines began coming down early Wednesday morning after the Industrial Labour Relations board ordered that the union cease and desist any strike activity because it did not provide 72 hours’ notice.

Update August 4: Port workers voted almost 75 per cent in favour of accepting a contract offer.

The end could be in sight for the Vancouver port work stoppage with the Federal as Minister of Labour looks to force a deal, saying “the difference between the employer’s and the union’s positions is not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage.”

Yesterday, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour, issued the following statement regarding the collective bargaining negotiations between the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada:

“Since late April, the BCMEA and the ILWU have been intensively working with federal mediators to try to reach a renewed collective bargaining agreement for their members.  

“Today, after eleven days of a work stoppage, I have decided that the difference between the employer’s and the union’s positions is not sufficient to justify a continued work stoppage.

“As a result of the hard work by the parties at the bargaining table, there is a good deal within reach – one that would work for both the employer and the union. I immediately asked that the senior federal mediator send a written recommendation of the terms of settlement to me within 24 hours. Once I have received the terms of settlement, I will forward them to the parties and they will have 24 hours to decide whether or not to recommend ratification of the terms to their principals.”

O’Reagan went on to detail how critical the continued operation of the port operations our to Canada‘s economy and how important reaching a deal, was to the continued relationship between the negotiating parties.

Some 7,400 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada in Vancouver have been on strike since July 1.

Vancouver is a significant inbound and outbound shipping point for Canada and has also seen an increase in traffic due to disruptions to US West Coast facilities,

The impact of the disruption in Vancouver to Canada’s economy has been estimated at between $250 million to $1 billion per week.


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