VANCOUVER, British Columbia
A tentative deal between employers and workers has been reached to end the strike that brought shipments to a standstill in ports across Canada’s west coast region of British Columbia. The strike, which began on July 1, impacted over 30 west coast ports including the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port.
The BC Maritime Employers Association announced that a tentative agreement had been reached with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. This breakthrough comes after federal Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan stepped in and ordered a mediator to propose terms for a possible settlement earlier this week. O’Regan stated that the gap in the negotiations was not significant enough to warrant an extended work stoppage.
O’Regan took to Twitter to announce the end of the strike, stating that the “parties are finalizing details for the resumption of work at the ports.” However, since the four-year deal is still subject to ratification by both parties, specific details have not yet been disclosed.
The impact of the strike on the affected ports has been significant, with daily cargo worth over 800 million Canadian dollars ($600 million) being affected. The disruptions prompted business groups and provincial governments to call on the national government to intervene and bring an end to the prolonged strike.
As of Wednesday, there were approximately 63,000 shipping containers stuck on vessels awaiting unloading at British Columbia ports, according to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. This number would have risen to 245,000 by the end of July if the strike had continued.
It is expected that with the resolution of this strike, port operations will soon resume their normal activities, providing relief for businesses and ensuring the flow of cargo across Canada’s west coast region.