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Dear Customer,


The Journal of Commerce has issued the following update to the industry:


Please note that we are advised that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada filed a “notice of dispute” with the Minister of Labor in Ottawa, triggering a process during which a federal conciliation officer appointed within 15 days “will assist and support the parties to achieve a renewed collective agreement,” the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) said in a statement Tuesday.


ILWU Canada and its 12 locals in Western Canada, and BCMEA, which represents container lines and terminal operators, began formal negotiations on March 6 for a new contract to replace the existing five-year agreement (expiring end of March).


Just over two weeks into formal negotiations, the longshore union manning the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert has asked the Canadian federal government for help in reaching a new contract with maritime employers, citing a lack of “meaningful progress.”


ILWU Canada is seeking significant wage increases, while automation of cargo-handling equipment, a source of tension in past contract negotiations, will likely once again be a prominent issue.


“BCMEA looks forward to meetings being scheduled in the near future with ILWU Canada and [the federal conciliation officer] in order to achieve a renewed agreement without further disruption to Canada’s supply chain,” the employers association said.


The conciliation period will last 60 days unless mutually extended by both sides.


We continue to monitor the situation and will provide further update as new information becomes available.





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