A 13-day strike that disrupted trade operations at Canada’s busiest ports and raised concerns of worsening inflation has ended after dock workers and their employers accepted a wage deal.
The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract on Tuesday, according to a statement from the BCMEA. Details of the contract— such as wages— weren’t disclosed at the time of writing.
Around 7,500 dock workers had gone on strike since July 1, seeking pay increases and expand jurisdiction to conduct regular maintenance on terminals. The strike disrupted operations at the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert, two of Canada’s three busiest ports, which are crucial for exporting the country’s resources and importing raw materials.
Whilst touring a potash mine near Regina, Saskatchewan on Tuesday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said she doesn’t have anymore patience with the striking workers. “We are very aware of the challenge it is posing to Canadian businesses, to Canadian workers and to the Canadian economy,” she said. “My patience is wearing pretty thin with self-imposed supply chain challenges.”
Economists had warned the strike could fuel inflation and trigger more supply chain disruptions. Based on data from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the strike has upended approximately $6.5 billion of cargo movement at the two ports, amounting to about $500 million in disrupted trade each day.
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