The leadership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) representing dock workers on Canada’s Pacific coast, has finally endorsed a tentative contract agreement with employers.
The union’s backing of this deal is expected to end a 13-day strike that disrupted operations at major Canadian ports, with a stop work meeting scheduled for Tuesday to recommend the terms of settlement to the union’s membership.
The strike had initially ended with a provisional agreement, but it was rejected by union leadership. The ILWU then attempted to restart the strike but had to withdraw its notice after failing to provide the legally required 72-hour notice. This led to a complex situation that left negotiations in a fluid and unpredictable state.
Approximately 7,500 dock workers participated in the strike, severely affecting Vancouver and Prince Rupert, two of Canada’s busiest ports. These ports are crucial for the export of natural resources and commodities, as well as the import of raw materials. According to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the industrial action disrupted an estimated $6.5 billion worth of cargo movement, with approximately $500 million in trade disrupted daily.
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