For Immediate Release
Wednesday July 19, 2023

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Earlier today, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) shared their ruling that the ILWU Canada was in violation of the Canada Labour Code by not providing a 72-hour strike notice. The CIRB has ordered the union to cease and desist any strike action, deeming it illegal. The ruling followed the rejection of the mutually accepted mediated deal by the ILWU internal leadership caucus without submitting the deal to the membership for a vote. While the strike has been deemed illegal and the picket lines are being dismantled, we understand they could return by Saturday morning.  

In response to these updates, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s President and CEO, Bridgitte Anderson, has issued the following statement: 

“We are gravely concerned about the level of uncertainty and, frankly, chaos taking place at our west coast ports following the decision by the ILWU leadership. Canadian businesses and the entire supply chain cannot adequately plan their operations and staffing without knowing whether the port will be open from one minute to the next. Canadians need assurance of stability at Canada’s west coast ports, both now and in the future. Our trading partners also need the confidence that our ports are reliable and open for business. 

Yesterday’s illegal strike action caused significant challenges for the entire supply chain. Since the strike began, we have consistently sounded the alarm about the economic harm caused by this labour action to Canadians and Canadian companies. The first 13 days of disruption impacted $9.9 billion in traded goods, and we now estimate over $10 billion of goods have been impacted. This is leading to higher inflation and will raise prices for consumers and businesses. We cannot risk further economic consequences and additional damage to Canada’s global trading relationships. 

This has gone on too long, and a solution must be found. Canada’s west coast ports need to reopen for good. We are once again renewing our call to the federal government and all elected representatives to utilize all their available tools to find a lasting resolution and to identify measures that ensure the future stability of our ports and supply chains.” 

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About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Western Canada's leading business association, engaging our members to inform public policy at all levels of government and empowering them to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events platforms in the country, providing a stage for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

Media contact:

David van Hemmen or Rahul Ajwani
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5450 |

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