A bargaining agreement will soon be within reach to end a dispute between striking Canadian dock workers and their employers, said yesterday Mr. Seamus O’Regan Jr, member of parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, minister of labour.

After almost eleven days of a work stoppage the minister of labour has decided that the difference between the employer´s and the union´s positions is not sufficient to justify, as he said, a continued work stoppage.

“As a result of the hard work by the parties at the bargaining table, there is a good deal within reach – one that would work for both the employer and the union,” O’Regan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The BC Maritime Employers Association on Tuesday said Minister O’Regan has given the senior federal mediator 24 hours to provide him with his recommendations for the settlement of this dispute. Once received, the Minister will share the mediator’s recommendations with both Parties, in which the Parties will have 24 hours to review and communicate their willingness to recommend the terms for ratification to their respective Members.

O’Regan said on twitter that he had asked the senior federal mediator for a written recommendation of the settlement terms within 24 hours.

Upon receiving them, he will send them to the parties, with a deadline of 24 hours to decide on ratification, he added.

Canadian West Coast ports negotiations between the parties have been ongoing since February this year in an attempt to renew the industry wide collective agreement which expired March 31, 2023.

The union International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) representing port workers officially began striking on July 1, 2023, and issued a 72-hour strike notice to the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) as the negotiations for a new contract with employer’s struggle to find an agreement.

ILWU Canada president Rob Ashton said in a news release that the employers claim longshore workers “are greedy and resistant to change and must be forced back to work through legislation to protect the national economy.”

“The federal government would not intervene to impose contract terms on the shipping companies, protecting Canadians from cost and disruption, and it’s sheer hypocrisy to now argue that government should force longshore workers back to work,” said ILWU Canada president Rob Ashton.