ILWU Canada schedules West Coast port strike starting July 1

The ILWU Canada has served notice under the Canadian Labor Code that it plans to strike at the country’s West Coast ports starting on July 1 as the next step in its aggressive approach to contract negotiations. Even before the contract’s expiration on March 31, the ILWU Canada had moved to push the negotiations process forward saying, unlike its U.S. counterparts, it was not prepared to have the negotiations drag on for an extended period.

The strike notice came today, June 28, and under Canadian law requires three days' notice. As late as yesterday observers were hopeful of progress noting that the cooling-off period from the government-led mediation process expired on June 21. Negotiations continued but there are reports they hit a new impasse last night. Both sides however are saying they are still willing to meet with the next round of negotiations scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, June 29. 

The union has presented a long list of issues saying its goal is to protect jobs and its jurisdiction. They are also saying like many other unions they are seeking “recognition for the hard work and sacrifices that longshore workers made during the pandemic.” They are highlighting that workers were on the job during the lockdown period and kept Canada’s vital supply chains moving. Among the issues they are listing in addition to wage increases to address high inflation and skyrocketing cost of living, are automation and outsourcing. 

The Maritime Executive

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As this is a developing situation, PSA BDP teams will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional details as they become available. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local PSA BDP representative.