On July 13th, 2023, the BCMEA and ILWU reached a tentative deal, ending 13 days of disruption to Canada’s West Coast ports. However, the tentative agreement did not please the internal leadership of the ILWU. On July 18th, the ILWU continued their strike at 4:30pm, putting the Canadian economy at risk.
According to the BC Maritime Employers Association the settlement package that was denied included “considerable hikes in wages and benefits above the ~10% increase received over the past three years, and generally above the established norm of recent private and public sector union settlements in British Columbia and Canada.”
The settlement also included provisions that addressed the union’s concern of “contracting out” work and measures to improve training, recruitment and retention of ILWU trade workers. The BCMEA agreed to provide benefit coverage for all casual trade workers and a commitment to increase apprentices in the industry by 15%. Over the last 5 months, the BCMEA has continued to advance proposals in good faith with objective of making urgent progress, reaching a fair deal, and ensuring ports stay open and that supply chains stay stable and reliable.
Following the rejection of the agreement by the ILWU leaders, the union workers walked off the job as the deal was not ratified. According to the OEC Group, “The Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has just communicated that this act is in violation of the Canadian Labor Code by not providing a 72-hour strike notice.” Since this is a violation, they ordered the union to “cease and desist these illegal strike actions effective immediately.” All West Coast Canadian ports have called in workers for the 4:30pm shift.
The Union workers have since provided the required 72-hour strike notice, which will take effect on Saturday, July 22nd at 9:00am. A.N. Deringer, Inc. will continue to monitor the situation.