One more voice has entered into the discussion of the current round of labour negotiations between the ILWU and the British Columbia Marine Employers Association, that as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce takes the lead in association with a number of other agencies to express concern over the potential impact of any port disruptions along the BC Coast.
The letter which was endorsed by a number of businesses, industries and regional Chambers of Commerce including the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce was issued on June 13th.
The main thrust of the correspondence is a call for the Federal government's active engagement in the bargaining process and that it be prepared to act to prevent any labour disruption."A labour disruption of this scale would have immediate and far-reaching impacts on Canada’s already fragile supply chain. Manufacturing, retail, agriculture, automotive dealers, and energy industries across the country would be severely affected within a matter of weeks." -- Canadian Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber notes of the need for the government to work with all of the parties involved in the negotiations to ensure an affordable, stable and effective supply chain.
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The letter and its signatories can be reviewed here.
The current round of negotiations are taking place with a recently conduced strike vote providing the union side of the table with a 99.24 percent mandate for strike action if required.
Should it come to that point, or if the BCMEA chooses to lock out its workforce, the first notice of potential labour disruption could come as early as this Saturday, June 24th, after which 72 hours notice from either party could be issued.
As we outlined last week, the negotiations in British Columbia take place as American port workers prepare for a ratification vote on a recently completed six year labour deal.
The Federal government had provided for two mediators for the recent round of talks however that process ended on May 31st.
There have been no further public updates provided by either side of the negotiating table since the Strike Vote results were announced earlier this month.
More notes on labour issues in Prince Rupert can be reviewed here.