ILWU Canada workers authorize strike in landslide vote, a ‘significant blow’ to West Coast ports

In a landslide vote, over 99% of ILWU Canada union workers critical for West Coast port operations, including in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, voted in favor of supporting a strike. If a strike occurs, a 72-hour strike notice would be filed before June 21. The earliest possible strike date would be June 24.

The vote, which took place on June 9-June 10, occurred during a 21-day cooling-off period between the British Maritime Employers Association and ILWU Canada. Negotiations with the Federal Maritime Conciliation Service started on March 28. Two mediators appointed by the Canadian government were overseeing the discussions that ran through the end of May. 

The biggest port to be affected is the Port of Vancouver, the largest port in Canada. About 90% of the cargo that moves through the Port of Vancouver is Canadian trade, according to a statement from a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. But there are potential impacts for U.S. trade. Approximately 15% of U.S. inbound and outbound laden and empty containers move through the Port of Vancouver, and approximately 2% of U.S. international laden imports arriving at West Coast ports each year move through the Port of Vancouver, according to the port authority.


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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.