Strike averted at DP World’s port facilities in Western Canada


A strike by ship and dock foremen at DP World’s port facilities in Western Canada has been prevented from occurring this week. 

On Sunday, July 7, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) determined that the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) Local 514 cannot proceed with plans to strike on July 8 at about 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Union members had indicated that they would be going on strike at DP World’s port facilities in Western Canada, according to the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA).

CIRB gave this ruling after BCMEA pressed the federal board to intervene. Because of the strike notice, BCMEA said on July 6 that it was planning to conduct an industry-wide lockout on July 9. That lockout would have shut down all cargo operations of BCMEA member companies across British Columbia, although it would not have affected cruise operations and longshoring operations on grain vessels, BCMEA said. However, since the strike will not occur, BCMEA has withdrawn its lockout notice.

“The CIRB found ILWU Local 514’s Nanaimo dispatch proposal was illegal because it consists of a receding horizon in bargaining and amounts to a failure to bargain in good faith. Therefore, the Board directed the union to withdraw its proposal,” BCMEA said in a July 7 update. 

“The BCMEA is disappointed that these steps needed to be taken to ensure the stability of Canada’s West Coast ports but is pleased with the outcomes of the CIRB’s decision,” the association continued. The group also said the CIRB hearing to address the union’s outstanding DP World Canada manning proposal is scheduled to continue on Aug. 6-9.

Negotiations between BCMEA and ILWU Local 514 began in November 2022, according to BCMEA. The labor agreement between BCMEA and ILWU Local 514 expired on March 31, 2023. BCMEA had also been negotiating a separate agreement with ILWU Longshore Locals, but the parties reached an agreement on Aug. 4, 2023.