July 29, 2023 | Circular No. 11566

Dear Member,

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan issued a statement this afternoon indicating that he has asked the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to determine whether the ILWU’s rejection of the collective agreement with the BCMEA means that the possibility of a negotiated settlement has been eliminated. Should this be the case, the Minister has directed the CIRB to either impose a new collective agreement on the parties or impose binding final arbitration to resolve outstanding terms of the agreement. The statement provides no indication of the timeframe within which such action could occur.

The full text of the Minister’s statement, which was posted on Twitter earlier today, can be found at this LINK.

For its part, the Port of Vancouver has issued a customer advisory noting that the port continues to operate normally, but is ready to reinstate its previous traffic management and anchorage allocation measures in the event that a labour disruption occurs.  The port reports that anchorage occupation is currently at 71 percent for VFPA anchorages and 57 percent for SGI anchorages.

As noted earlier today, it is our understanding that the ILWU retains the ability to issue 72 hour strike notice should it wish to pursue such a course of action.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide members with additional information as it becomes available.


Karen Kancens
Vice President