Strike talks in Canadian port resume with support from federal mediators Ship’s crew


TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) – Talks in Pacific Canada between striking dockers and their employers have resumed after four days of absence from the negotiating table, the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) said in a statement on Saturday.

The BCMEA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU Canada) met Saturday with the assistance of federal mediators, the statement said. Talks had stalled on Tuesday and both sides broke off negotiations.

About 7,500 longshoremen went on strike for higher wages on July 1, upending operations at the Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert — important gateways for exporting the country’s natural resources and raw materials, as well as importing raw materials.

Canada’s federal and provincial governments had urged the parties to resume talks, while Alberta Prime Minister Danielle Smith said in a statement on Saturday that her province supports an immediate recall of Parliament to consider legislation to solve work stoppages.

BCMEA said it had presented a revised proposal to address skills shortages and to meet ILWU Canada’s request to expand its responsibilities for periodic terminal maintenance, which ILWU Canada rejected.

ILWU Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The union will hold a rally in Vancouver on Sunday.

The Confederation of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CM&E) said the strike impacted trade worth CA$500 million (US$377 million) a day. That could lead to disruptions in the supply chain, fueling inflation, economists say.

($1 = 1.3271 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Mark Porter)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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