Solution to deadlock remains on the table, as Canada grinds to a halt
Fourteen consecutive work shifts shut down and five days of ILWU Canada’s strike action has potentially disrupted $3.7 billion of cargo – automotive parts, refrigerated food, fertilizer, critical minerals and goods that are not reaching Canadians, or our trading partners abroad. The BCMEA continues to grow concerned that Canadians, businesses and the economy are feeling the weight of added economic pressure.
Regrettably, this labour disruption has also damaged Canada’s reputation with our trading partners, including the United States and the Asia Pacific region. The Pacific Gateway is the linchpin of the nation’s supply chain, moving 25% of Canada’s total traded goods, and every day that passes without a deal reached, the Canadian economy – and Canadians – lose.
What is clear now is that the safety and security of Canada’s supply chain is at imminent risk. With escalating action by ILWU Canada, and the economic urgency and impacts on Canadians, the BCMEA continues to explore pathways forward that helps both Parties reach a fair deal together.
On June 16, the BCMEA proposed to ILWU Canada to enter a voluntarily mediation-arbitration process that would be shaped by the Parties and encourages continued dialogue and negotiations and only, if necessary, provides a binding outcome via interest arbitration. By voluntarily entering into this process, port operations could resume quickly, critical goods could begin to flow again and there would be immediate stability and restoration to Canada’s supply chain operations.
The BCMEA is invested in seeking a fair agreement that recognizes the expertise of B.C.’s waterfront workforce while ensuring Canada’s West Coast ports remain competitive, resilient and affordable for all Canadians.
The Federal Government has challenged the Parties to come up with creative solutions to end the stalemate in negotiations. BCMEA continues to advance opportunities for the Parties to reach an equitable deal for the benefit of all Canadians.
Last updated: July 5, 2023, 4:05 pm PT