Canada Dock Strike Enters Third Day as Employers Table Proposals

A strike at Canada’s Pacific coast ports continued for a third day on Monday.

(Bloomberg) — A strike at Canada’s Pacific coast ports continued for a third day on Monday. 

Negotiations resumed on Monday, a federal holiday in Canada, after talks throughout the weekend, Jenny Oan, a spokeswoman for the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, said by email.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union representing more than 7,000 dockworkers went on strike Saturday morning after federal-mediated negotiations failed. The strike threatens to disrupt millions of dollars of trade and add inflationary pressures to the Canadian economy.

The strike affects activities at maritime hubs in British Columbia, including the Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert, the country’s No. 1 and No. 3 busiest. These ports are vital to exports of natural resources and imports of raw materials and food products.

Read more: Western Canada Dockworkers Plan Strike July 1 as Pay Talks Fail

A quarter of Canada’s total traded goods flow through these western ports, representing more than C$800 million ($604 million) worth of cargo each day. The disruption will have a knock-on effect to the rest of the economy, Robin Guy, vice president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview. 

While inflation has slowed, Canada’s economy regained momentum in May, potentially reinforcing the case for a July rate hike. 

The longer the work stoppage drags on, the more impact it would have on the economy, according to Omar Allam, a global trade adviser and former Canadian trade official. In 2021, a strike at the Port of Montreal, Canada’s second biggest, led to a loss of up to C$25 million per day, and this strike would have a bigger impact due to the scale of disruptions. 

The ILWU and BCMEA — which represents about 49 waterfront companies and terminal operators — have been in talks since February to renew a collective agreement to replace the old one that expired March 31.

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