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B.C. port dispute ends as workers vote to accept new deal

Toronto, August 8, 2023

Port workers in British Columbia have accepted a new four-year tentative deal with their employers, bringing an end to an extended contract dispute that has paralyzed industries and supply chains across Canada.  Late on Friday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada said that the vast majority of its 7,400 plus members voted to ratify a deal reached, with help from the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).  Both the ILWU and the employers, represented by the B.C. Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA), have now ratified the deal.

No details on the provisions of the deal have been released, but according to the BCMEA, the new agreement includes increased wages, benefits and training for workers, along with provisions to ensure labour stability at ports in the future.  While the conclusion of the dispute is welcome news, the financial consequences faced by corporations across the country, could linger for many months.  With upwards of $500 million of trade disrupted daily, much of which was time-sensitive goods, coupled with many firms maintaining less inventory, it is clear that the impact felt will be quite pronounced.

For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.

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