Over 7,000 workers walked off the job on July 1st at more than 35 BC ports. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have been without a collective agreement since March 31st.
Canada’s west coast ports handle over $800 million worth of cargo, including agri-foods, perishable goods, potash, critical minerals and household necessities every day. Experts have warned that the strike will fan the flames of inflation and increase economic instability for business. A worry backed by the studies from the Canadian Chamber Business Data Lab, where nearly a quarter of businesses have stated that supply chain issues remain a key obstacle to growth.
Federal Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan is in Vancouver meeting with both parties
and encouraging continued negotiation as "the best deals for both parties are reached at the table." Sporadic work stoppages on the U.S. West Coast have concluded after acting Labour Secretary Julie Su worked with both sides to negotiate a six-year contract for the 22,000 workers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports.
In conjunction with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, over 120 chambers and boards of trade across the country - including ours - issued a joint letter to the Prime Minister urging the federal government to find a resolution urgently.