The Canadian wharf strike suddenly resumed. The union rejected the previous government-coordinated provisional agreement and started to strike again at 4:30 pm local time on July 18 to fight for rights.
The Canadian terminal had already been on strike for 13 days, and it took several weeks to clear the backlog last month to restore normal operating efficiency. After 5 days of cessation, the impact further deteriorated.
While disrupting the supply chain, this will affect the effective shipping capacity of trans-Pacific routes including Canada itself and the United States, which will support and push up freight rates.
The ILWU Canadian Coastal Dockworkers Caucus has voted down settlement terms suggested by government mediators, which the union caucus does not believe have the power to protect their current or future jobs.
“From day one, our position has been to protect our jurisdiction and that position has not changed,” the union said. “BCMEA Western Canada’s British Columbia Maritime Employers’ Association member companies (primarily shipping companies) have made record profits over the past few years, and employers have not addressed the cost of living issues our workers have faced over the past few years as much as all workers. In these uncertain times, the duration of this employment agreement is too long. We must be able to readjust for our members to adjust to the uncertainty of the world’s financial markets.”
On July 18, 2023 at 16:30, ILWU Canada will be back on the picket line for a fair and negotiated employment agreement! The 13-day Canadian terminal strike, which ended last Thursday, shut down operations at two of Canada’s three busiest ports, the Port of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, which are key gateways for imports and exports to Canada.
The resumption of strikes is expected to trigger more supply chain disruptions and risk aggravating inflation, and play a certain role in supporting and pushing up the US line.