Lloyd's List is part of Maritime Intelligence

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited, registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address c/o Hackwood Secretaries Limited, One Silk Street, London EC2Y 8HQ, United Kingdom. Lloyd’s List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Lloyd’s is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd’s Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd’s.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call UK support at +44 (0)20 3377 3996 / APAC support at +65 6508 2430

Printed By


Strike starts in Canada’s west coast ports

Employers and union remain at bargaining table, labour minister says

A series of meetings Thursday through Friday night failed to yield a tentative agreement, but the parties remain at the table. Business groups have warned of the impacts of a strike on Canada’s west coast ports, which handle about 16% of the nation’s traded goods annually

LONGSHORE workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada began strike action on Canada’s west coast Saturday morning.

Meetings between the employers and the union over the past few days following the union’s issuance of a 72-hour strike notice on Wednesday failed to bring a resolution, setting the stage for strike action to begin on Canada Day and as peak shipping season starts.

“The parties conducted meetings with the support of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, known as FMCS, on Thursday, Friday and throughout the night,” the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, which represents the employers in the collective bargaining process, said in a statement on Saturday morning.

“Unfortunately, at the time of writing, a tentative agreement has not been reached and the ILWU Canada and its members have begun strike action at various sites across British Columbia.”

The BCMEA confirmed Friday that cruise operations at the ports will not be interrupted.

Canada’s labour minister Seamus O’Regan Jr said in a tweet that the parties remain at the table, supported by Federal mediators.

“We cannot emphasise this enough — the best deals for both parties are reached at the table,” he said.

The west coast ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are Canada’s largest and third largest ports, respectively, and are also critical gateways for US cargo.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warned last week that a strike would have a dire impact on the Canadian economy and supply chains, fuelling inflation and hurting exporters, while the US-based National Retail Federation also expressed concern in response to the strike notice.

The key issues for the dockworkers are jurisdiction, wages, and automation, according to the strike notice.

Similar to their ILWU counterpart in the US, longshore workers also say they seek recognition for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic years.

“Longshore workers kept this province and the country running during the pandemic, and when Canadians were told to shelter in place, our people went to work,” Ashton said in a statement announcing the strike notice.

“We worked in difficult and hazardous conditions to ensure that the communities where we live, and all Canadians had the necessary supplies and personal protective equipment to defend against the Covid-19 virus.”

On Friday, the union received support from ILWU international president Willie Adams.

“We note that for nearly five months, the ILWU Canada Bargaining Committee has negotiated in good faith for a fair deal that respects longshore workers and protects the jobs and jurisdiction of dockers,” Adams said in a letter to Ashton.

“We also note that for the past three years, BCMEA and its investors have enjoyed enormous profits on the backs of union dockers, while our members risked their lives during the pandemic. We are all too familiar with this kind of fight as the ILWU Coast Longshore Division faced similar issues during our recent contract negotiations.”

Related Content


  • Related Places
  • UsernamePublicRestriction



    Ask The Analyst

    Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
    Ask The Analyst

    Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

    All fields are required.

    Please make sure all fields are completed.

    Please make sure you have filled out all fields

    Please make sure you have filled out all fields

    Please enter a valid e-mail address

    Please enter a valid Phone Number

    Ask your question to our analysts