The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) Local 514 have been negotiating since the current collective agreement for Canada`s west coast expired in March 2018. Discussions are not going well and are broken. If a new long-term collective agreement is not negotiated, it could also tarnish C ports` competitive advantage over ports in North America and Mexico, which compete for a larger share of trans-Pacific cargo. BCMEA (BCMEA) and the 6,000 ILWU members held 44 negotiating sessions in 2018. Lauren Chan, la BCMEA`s director of communications and marketing, said that this year`s other nine meetings and others were scheduled for March. That`s the good news on the shores of B.C. The bad news is that that is about all there is to say after the first year of negotiation of a new collective agreement between the province`s maritime employers and the coastal unions. In July 2017, the U.S. International Longshore and Warehouse Union signed a three-year extension of its contract with the Pacific Maritime Association. The original collective agreement ended a stalemate that disrupted freight movement through major U.S.
West Coast ports from mid-2014 to early 2015 and diverted some of that northbound traffic to the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Terry Duggan, President and CEO of BCMEA, said in an interview in late 2018 that his organization was “cautiously optimistic” that it would be “able to enter into a collective agreement without any kind of service disruption.” UPDATE: Status of negotiations with ILWU Canada Longshore and ILWU Ship and Dock Foremen Local 514. After five (5) days of successive meetings over the past week and despite all efforts, key issues have not been resolved between the parties. However, the parties have agreed to file a joint complaint with the Minister of Labour, who will now appoint a conciliation mediator for the ongoing discussion on contract renewal. This notification was filed on Friday, January 25, 2019. Note: The Minister has a maximum of 15 days to appoint a conciliation mediator. ILWU Local 502 withdrew its strike statement of September 3, 2018 and recommends that members vote in favour of the agreement. The filing of this joint dispute settlement triggered the following deadline under the Canadian Labour Code: the application of the aforementioned time line to a calendar means that the 21st day after the conciliation ends will be Wednesday, May 1, 2019. During the 21-day period, each party may strike 72 hours or lock out, provided that it meets the conditions of a vote and has received a mandate from the majority that voted. We remain cautiously optimistic that the parties will reach a renewal agreement with the support of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (CSMF). Foremen Bargaining Dates are scheduled in early February to meet ILWU Ship and Dock Foremen Local 51.
In September 2018, the International Longshoremen`s Association ratified an agreement with the U.S. Maritime Alliance. The six-year contract provides stability for labour and port services on the east coast of the United States.