Local Updates: Regular Operations while ILWU Members Vote July 27 and 28

Local Updates: Regular Operations while ILWU Members Vote July 27 and 28

July 2023

Things are very fluid with the West Coast port workers strike that started July 1. Here’s the latest on what is happening in the industry for empty containers:

  • On Thursday, July 27, and Friday, July 28, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada membership will vote on the tentative agreement reached with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA). Regular operations will continue while voting takes place.
  • CPKC and CN rail have resumed normal container operations to West Coast ports
  • There is a shortage of equipment on the West Coast and equipment availability will certainly be an issue when the strike resolves
  • While the strike was happening, almost no one was picking up empty containers

Here are a few important industry articles we have read recently:

Western Canada port backlog to take weeks to clear: Canadian National (Journal of Commerce)

CN Rail says it would take up to eight weeks to clear the cargo backlog from the strike, as ILWU members vote on a tentative deal. Results are not expected to be released until Saturday at the earliest.

Large-scale strike action may become more common, says labour expert, as B.C. port workers review agreement (CBC)

As ILWU members discuss the BCMEA deal, McGill University sociology professor says large-scale strikes will be more common in the future as industries and union members grapple with existential issues.

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