UPDATE: 8/7/2023—This weekend, the contract put forth last week was ratified by ILWU Canada. It will take some time to clear out any backlog that was created during this turmoil, but overall, we are happy to have the overarching dispute settled.
Details on the provisions of the deal have not yet been released, however according to the BCMEA, the new agreement includes increased wages, benefits and training for workers along with provisions to ensure labor stability at the Canada’s West Coast ports in the future.
After an emergency meeting was called by Prime Minister Trudeau, ILWU Canada has removed their strike notice, returning the union members to work and resuming operations at Canada’s West Coast Ports.
ILWU Canada originally rejected the proposed tentative agreement on Tuesday evening, July 18, and immediately resumed their strike. However, on Wednesday, July 19, the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruled the strike illegal, stating the union had failed to provide the proper 72-hour notice to strike as the prior strike had ended when workers returned to the docks last week.
This prompted ILWU Canada to immediately declare a 72-hour strike notice, which was set to begin on Saturday, July 22, at 9:00 AM PST. This is the strike notice that has now been removed. Operations at the port did resume late on Wednesday evening.
There was substantial backlash from business and government alike when ILWU Canada rejected the agreement on Tuesday and resumed the strike. Many called for increased actions including a “return to work” order to be investigated and passed quickly. However, it appears the crisis meeting called by Prime Minister Trudeau has avoided the possibility for a strike, at least for the short term.
Until a final contract resolution can be agreed upon, there will be concern about the stability of the Canadian West Coast ports. However, the ports are now operational again and there seems to be a level of determination to find resolution without the need for further disruptions.
By Chris Lindstrand, Director of International Transportation