Canadian dockworkers and employers reached a tentative agreement Thursday, ending a 13-day strike that upended two of Canada’s busiest ports and risked worsening inflation.
A new four-year deal, which was presented by federal mediators, must now be ratified by both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA).
Roughly 7,500 dock workers representing the ILWU walked off the job July 1 after failing to reach a contract agreement with the BCMEA.
The ILWU had made demands for wage increases and expansion of their jurisdiction to regular maintenance work at terminals.
More than 30 British Columbia ports were affected including The Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert, Canada’s largest ports.
According to Reuters, The strike is estimated to have disrupted C$6.5 billion of cargo movement at the ports, based on the industry body Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ calculation of about C$500 million ($376.7 million) in trade per day.
Economists had warned that the strike could trigger more supply-chain disruptions and fuel inflation while the Bank of Canada tries to right the economy.
Production slow down at the port over the period of the strike was seen immediately and a ramp up will take a few weeks.
“We’re all sighing a bit of relief and we’re grateful to see an agreement reached so that we can get back to business. This is certainly good news for importers,” said Tom Peacock, President of Worldwide Logistics Group.
Worldwide Logistics Group is still encouraging customers to continue with any plans in place and the company will continue to report back any changes.