As previously reported, the current two agreements between the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), representing longshore workers and ship & dock foremen at all Canadian west coast ports, expire on March 31, 2023.

Further to the previous update message, BCMEA has reported that, on March 29, the Labour Minister announced the appointment of two Conciliation Officers from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Ms. Kathy Peters, Regional Director – Pacific Region and Mr. Peter Simpson, Director-General.

BCMEA states as follows.

Pursuant to the Canada Labour Code, the conciliation officers have a 60-day mandate from the day of appointment (up to May 28, 2023). Any extension beyond 60 days can be made only by mutual consent of the parties. At the end of the conciliation period, a 21-day cooling off period begins (up to June 18, 2023). Conciliation meetings have been scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 12.

With the 60-day conciliation mandate and the 21-day cooling off period, this means the earliest a work stoppage could commence would be June 19.

The BCMEA news release of March 29 can be found here. The list of 2023 major transportation expiring agreements can be found here.

FMA will keep the membership apprised as new information on negotiations becomes available.