ILWU leadership rejects mediator’s fair and balanced tentative deal without a member vote, once again putting livelihoods and the Canadian economy at risk
We regret to advise that ILWU Canada (ILWU) has communicated that ILWU’s internal caucus leadership rejected the tentative agreement, before it was even taken to a vote of the full union membership. We’ve also been informed of ILWU’s intent to engage in strike activity at 16:30 today.
On July 13, 2023, after 13 days of disruption to Canada’s West Coast ports through ILWU’s strike action, the BCMEA and ILWU reached a tentative deal.
This was accomplished through a proposed settlement provided by the senior federal mediator, pursuant to the Minister of Labour’s request under subsection 105 (2) of the Canada Labour Code. Both the BCMEA and ILWU recommended ratification of the tentative settlement to their respective memberships. The BCMEA ratified the agreement on July 13.
This fair and comprehensive package could not satisfy some of ILWU internal caucus leadership, and in rejecting this tentative agreement, ILWU Leadership is choosing to further harm Canada’s economy, international reputation and most importantly, to Canadians, their livelihoods and all those that rely on a stable supply chain.
The proposed four-year collective agreement settlement package that ILWU internal leadership rejected, included considerable hikes in wages and benefits over and above the ~10% increase received over the past three years, and generally above the established norm of recent private and public sector union settlements in British Columbia and Canada.
The tentative settlement also included specific provisions that addressed the union’s concern regarding “contracting out” work and measures to improve training, recruitment and retention of ILWU trades workers now and in the future. Specifically, the BCMEA agreed to provide benefit coverage for all casual trades workers, a tool allowance, and a commitment to increase apprentices in the industry by 15%.
Throughout the past five months, the BCMEA has continued to advance reasonable proposals and positions in good faith with the urgent objective of making progress, reaching a fair deal, and ensuring ports are open and supply chains are stable and reliable. We strongly believe the tentative four-year agreement fairly recognized the skills and efforts of B.C.’s waterfront workforce, while allowing for the safe restoration of critical cargo operations for all Canadians.
Clearly this fair and equitable package wasn’t enough for the ILWU internal leadership, and they chose to instead remain entrenched in their position with little regard to the lives and jobs they are impacting.
Last updated: July 18, 2023, 3:57 pm PT