Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 06, 2011 17:18 ET

Minister Raitt Applauds BC Port Agreement

Praises BCMEA and ILWU Canada (Longshoremen) for reaching agreement that will help keep economic recovery on track

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 6, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Labour, congratulated the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada (Longshoremen) for successfully reaching a new collective agreement.

"Our Government's top priority remains the strengthening of our fragile economic recovery. This long-term agreement is an important contribution to that goal," said Minister Raitt. "I applaud the BCMEA and ILWU Canada (Longshoremen) for reaching a historic eight-year agreement without interruption to services."

The previous collective agreement covering a unit of approximately 4 500 longshoremen expired March 31, 2010.

"This collective agreement will help bring much needed stability to Canada's West Coast ports, which are an integral component of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and a crucial part of what keeps business in our country running and prospering," continued Minister Raitt. "It sends a clear message to the rest of the world that Canada is open to business and that we can be relied upon to meet the import and export demands of the 21st century."

Minister Raitt closely monitored progress throughout the negotiations, and securing an agreement was a top of list priority.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Backgrounder

British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada (Longshoremen)

The collective agreement covering a unit of approximately 4 500 longshoremen expired March 31, 2010. Bargaining talks between the BCMEA and ILWU Canada (Longshoremen) began in January 2010. With help from mediators and conciliators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a tentative agreement was drafted on April 15, 2011. The agreement was ratified on May 1, 2011, by ILWU Canada (Longshoremen), and on May 4, 2011, by the BCMEA.

Canada's West Coast ports

Canada's West Coast ports have an important impact on the Canadian economy. Many workers, business owners and farmers across the nation depend on their activities. Port Metro Vancouver accounts for nearly 90 percent of traffic in these ports. It handles over $64 billion worth of goods every year, more than 9 percent of all Canadian exports. A recent study estimates that trade through that port supports 130 000 jobs across Canada, of which 106 000 are in British Columbia.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559