Canadian West Coast ports negotiation reaches impasse as the union International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) representing port workers has voted down the recommended terms of the settlement.

The 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 (ILWU) representing port workers officially began striking on July 1, 2023 after failing to reach a new work contract with the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA), which represents the port owners.

In a statement released Tuesday, the ILWU said the ILWU Canada Longshore Caucus has voted down the mediators recommended terms of settlement, as it does not believe the recommendations had the ability to protect their jobs now or into the future.

“With the record profits that the BCMEA’s member companies have earned over the last few years the employers have not addressed the cost of living issues that our workers have faced over the last couple of years as all workers have,” said ILWU.

Canada´s labour minister Seamus O’Regan said on twitter that he was informed that, despite initially agreeing to recommend the terms of the settlement, the ILWU Canada´s leadership had decided not to recommend ratification of the terms to their members.

“Workers and employers across Canada cannot face further disruption on the scale we saw last week. Therefore, we are looking at all options,” he said.

Last week, after 13 days of work stoppage, Minister O’Regan asked federal mediators to provide recommendations on the terms of the settlement between the BCMEA and the ILWU Canada.

Both parties, as the labour minister pointed out, tentatively agreed to this settlement to bring an end to the strike.

The BC Maritime Employers Association, said Minister O’Regan, has send a formal notice notifying that their membership had accepted this deal in full.

ILWU Canada president Rob Ashton said in a news release last week 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.