Canada port strike resumes after union members reject wage agreement

Source: Reuters; National Post; CBC; Vancouver Sun
Date: 19th July 2023

Dock workers at ports along Canada’s Pacific coast rejected a tentative four-year wage deal agreed with their employers last week and returned to the picket line, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said on Tuesday.

The ILWU represents some 7,500 dock workers, who walked off the job on July 1 after failing to reach a new work contract with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA), which represents the companies involved.

The 13-day strike, which ended last Thursday, upended operations at two of Canada’s three busiest ports, the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert, which are key gateways for exporting the country’s natural resources and commodities and bringing in raw materials.

A strike resumption could trigger more supply-chain disruptions and risk worsening inflation.

Federal government mediators helped negotiate the deal reached last week. The office of Canada’s federal labor minister did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The leader of Canada’s opposition Conservative Party criticized Canada’s federal labor minister for failing to solve the dispute.

“He claimed he’d gotten a deal to end the strike. Now it’s back on with massive costs to consumers, workers and business,” the leader of Canada’s opposition Conservative Party said on Twitter.

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