July 31, 2023 | Circular No. 11568

Dear Member,

Further to CL 11567, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has published its order setting out the process, conditions and timeframes under which the agreement between the ILWU and the BCMEA that was reached yesterday evening will undergo ratification.  More specifically, the order stipulates that:

  • The ILWU will prepare and communicate a letter of ratification, signed and executed by all ILWU Local presidents, supporting and recommending the memorandum of settlement to the membership;
  • The BCMEA will recommend the memorandum of settlement to its principals for ratification;
  • The ILWU’s Contract Caucus will recommend that the memorandum of settlement be sent to the ILWU membership for approval and ratification;
  • ILWU will hold the ratification vote no later than Friday, August 4, 2023;
  • The ILWU agrees not to engage in any strike activity and the BCMEA agrees not to initiate a lockout until the results of the ratification vote are known and notice is given under section 87.2 of the Code.

The Order also contains a reminder to the ILWU leadership that it can be considered an unfair labour practice for union leadership to unanimously support a settlement agreement and subsequently change its position through the ratification process.

Moreover, the CIRB will keep confidential and not publicly disclose the substance of the agreement until the ratification vote is completed.

Given that the ILWU’s ratification vote must be held no later than this Friday, we expect to receive news of the vote results shortly thereafter and will keep members informed accordingly.


Karen Kancens
Vice President