Agreement reached to end British Columbia port strike Ship’s crew

By Randy Thanthong-Knight (Bloomberg) –

A 13-day strike that has paralyzed supplies in Canada’s western ports is set to end after the dockers’ union and a group of employers reached a tentative agreement.

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union, which represents more than 7,000 workers, and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association have reached an agreement on a new four-year contract, according to a statement Thursday. The parties did not provide any further information.

The agreement paves the way for an end to work stoppages at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, the country’s busiest and third-busiest hubs. The employers’ group said operations are expected to “resume as soon as possible”.

The strike at the ports, which handle about a quarter of all Canadian trade, has reduced container ship arrivals and diverted ships to US facilities – restricting the import of materials for manufacturing and the export of natural resources like Kali hindered.

“The scale of this disruption has been significant,” Labor Secretary Seamus O’Regan and Transport Secretary Omar Alghabra said in a joint statement. “The scale has shown how important the relationship between industry and labor is to our national interest. We don’t want to come back here again.”

Canadian trade group Manufacturers and Exporters had estimated the strike caused CA$500 million (US$380 million) in daily trade disruption. The shipping employers’ association on Tuesday put the balance of the previously disrupted cargo at 8.6 billion Canadian dollars. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warned there could be disruption fuel inflation.

More than half of business owners affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business were affected by the strike as they lost sales, production or orders were delayed and products could not be exported. The world’s largest fertilizer producer Nutrien Ltd. Saskatchewan-based company curtailed production at its Cory potash mine, citing the port’s closure.

It will take months to fully resolve the supply chain backlog caused by the strike, said CFIB President Dan Kelly.

“To ensure our economy is not held hostage by another similar strike in the future, the government should consider making ports an essential service.” will,” Kelly said in a statement.

The strike shows that workers are eager to regain the purchasing power they have lost over the past two years due to higher inflation. In April more than 155,000 federal employees also went on strike after wage negotiations with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government collapsed.

–Assisted by Robert Tuttle and Laura Dhillon Kane.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

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