July 10, 2023 | Circular No. 11550

Dear Member,

You will find below a summary of recent developments related to the longshore strike at British Columbia ports, which has now entered its tenth day:


  • The BC MEA and ILWU resumed negotiations on Saturday morning (July 8) with the aid of the federal mediation service.
  • Altough the BC MEA tabled a revised proposal yesterday to address the issue of skilled trade shortages and the ILWU’s demand for expanded jurisdiction over regular maintenance work on terminals (which are two major points of contention between the parties), this was rejected by the union.
  • There were no negotiations yesterday due to a labour rally organized by the ILWU, but both parties are back at the bargaining table as of this morning.

Port and Railway Operational Impacts

  • The Port of Vancouver reports that anchorage utilization has increased since last week but still remains fluid, with VFPA anchorages at 56 percent capacity and Southern Gulf Island anchorages at 67% capacity.
  • Vessel tracking data indicates that there are 14 vessels waiting offshore, the majority of which are container ships and car carriers.
  • Operations at terminals that are still functioning remain fluid, and although was an increase in picketing activity (and related security concerns) over the weekend, the port is reporting a much lower number of picketers today.
  • Both CN and CPKC continue to ramp down assets (crews and locomotives) in response to the current situation, which will add complexity to the recovery effort once the strike has come to end. Indeed, the shape and pace of the recovery effort is becoming an issue of major concern for all stakeholders, espcially insofar as it will likely coincide with the start of the traditional grain export season.
  • The railways are also working to provide alternative tranportation options for some customers, especially in the form of additional export capacity at inland terminals to the Ports of Montreal, Halifax and Saint John.

Transport Canada Stakeholder Meetings

  • Transport Canada continues to hold its daily stakeholder meetings on the operational impacts of the labour disruption.  Members who have issues they would like us to raise in this forum should contact the undersigned.
  • Tranport Canada is also very open to holding bilateral meetings with stakeholders who wish to share information on the operational, commercial, economic or other impacts of the work stoppage in a more private setting.  Members who wish to set up such a meeting with TC should contact the undersigned.


We will revert to members with additional news and developments as new information becomes available


Karen Kancens
Vice President