Strikes of the magnitude of the current BC ports strike hurt already fragile supply chains and damage Canada's international reputation, the CME charges. PHOTO courtesy Vancouver Port Authority.
As the BC port workers strike enters its second week, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is urging the federal government to intervene now to reassure manufacturers stressing out about the damage to supply chains.
“Regardless of where manufacturers are located in Canada or their current shipping modalities, it is anticipated that the sector will bear a direct burden as the supply chain becomes increasingly tangled the longer the strike drags on,” the CME says in a letter to its members. “Strikes of this magnitude not only disrupt the Canadian economy but damages our global trading reputation, hurts already fragile supply chains, and puts jobs at risk.”
CME adds that it has “turned up the pressure” on the federal and provincial governments and the responsible ministers, and is calling for intervention.
“We have identified our supporters in the federal cabinet and are working through them to ensure member challenges are voiced in their deliberations. We are also in direct contact with the various parties on the ground in B.C., including daily operational briefing calls with Transport Canada, and are working with all our business association partners across Canada to avoid a continued work stoppage,” the CME says.
The two parties met with the Labour Canada mediator on Saturday, July 8 but there’s no word of progress being made in the contract talks. Meanwhile ILWU International union president Willie Adams declared the union will support its striking Canadian counterpart by not unloading Canadian bound cargo.
Containerships and railcars are backing up at B.C. ports as the strike is in its 10th day. It’s estimated that for each day of the strike, it will take a further 1-3 business days – or longer – to address broken supply chains once dock workers go back to work.
“While manufacturers with shipments at the port are affected directly by storage fees and shipment delays, all transportation routes are feeling the effects of the ongoing labour disruption,” the CME says.