West Coast Port Strike: RCC Advocacy Update - Retail Council of Canada

West Coast Port Strike: RCC Advocacy Update

July 12, 2023

RCC continues to be in daily contact with members, government, and other business associations in an effort to achieve resolution of Canada’s West Coast port strike – a strike that has essentially halted container traffic through the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Tuesday, Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan asked the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service’s mediator to supply the Minister with recommended terms of settlement pursuant to section 105 (2) of the Canada Labour Code.

The Minister’s letter to the employers (BC Maritime Employers Association) and union (International Longshore Workers Union Canada) has said that the Minister will share the mediator’s recommended settlement with the two parties to determine whether they are willing to recommend the terms for the ratification of their respective members. RCC notes that under section 108 the Minister also has the power to require a vote of the workers on the employer’s last offer.

One possibility is that Government could recall Parliament, as requested by several provinces and most major business associations (including RCC), to impose the mediator’s recommendation.

RCC cautions members that while the Minister’s request for a recommendation is positive, both parties must agree with any settlement. If and when Parliament is recalled to pass back-to-work legislation, the process usually proceeds quite quickly – over a matter of a few days – but that the current minority situation in Parliament does not provide certainty that such a bill would get speedy passage. RCC has, and will continue, to be available to the media to outline the retail industry’s concerns.

For questions or more information contact

Greg Wilson
Director, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs

For questions or more information contact

Avery Bruenjes
Senior Manager, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs