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B.C. port strike to resume following rejection of tentative agreement

July 19, 2023  By Rock to Road Staff

(Photo credit: Alexander, Adobe Stock)

UPDATE, 7/19/2023: Striking has resumed amongst over 7,400 members of the Internaional Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) after rejecting the tentative agreement reached last Thursday.

The turning down of the agreement was announced in a statement released on Tuesday, July 18th, with the resumed strike following a previous nine days of striking that occured between July 1 and 18.

In a joint statement responding to this development, Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Reagan and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that the many industries affected by these strikes “cannot face further disruption on the scale we saw last week.”

UPDATE, 7/13/2023: Following a 13-day work stoppage at the shipping ports of British Columbia, striking has ceased amongst the province’s port workers with a tentative deal reached between them and the province.


The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada has released a statement that a settlement was reached on the morning of Thursday, July 13 with the B.C. Maritime Employers Association.

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Supply shortages and increased prices could hamper the country’s busiest construction season as a port workers’ strike in British Columbia enters its sixth day.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) walked off the job last weekend, putting more than 7,400 workers, including cargo loaders, on the picket line at 30 ports across the province.

While the job action is on-going, cargo from Asia, the Pacific Rim, the United States and other areas will remain on ships, waiting to be unloaded.

A story in the Toronto Star reported the significant amount of both heavy equipment and construction supplies destined for Canadian job sites that travel through B.C’s ports. If the walkout continues, the delay could impact construction crews nation-wide as they wait for equipment and supplies.

As cargo piles up it increases the chance delays in the supply chain will be significant even after the walkout is over, as workers process the backlog. A similar strike by port truck drivers in 2014 left hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cargo sitting in container terminals for more than a month.

Workers are asking the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) for protection from loss of work to contract workers and port automation, and protections to cover the increased cost of living, according to ILWU.

Both the BCMEA and ILWU have issued press releases this week indicating negotiations are moving slowly.

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