A survey of CME members showed the B.C. ports strike, which has now resumed, had a severe impact on their businesses and the Canadian economy. PHOTO courtesy Vancouver Port Authority.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters is calling for back-to-work legislation to bring an end to resumed strike action at B.C.’s ports.
“A second strike at the ports of British Columbia, days after an all-party agreement was reached, is intolerable for Canadian manufacturers. Our businesses, like any other in Canada, only thrive on the stability of our critical transportation infrastructure. We need this strike to end, and for the BC ports to open now” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME. “We urge the federal government to deploy any measure at its disposal, especially back-to-work legislation, that will bring the quickest end to the strike. Any delay will only add to the damage done to manufacturers, the economy, and Canada’s global reputation.”
Last week, CME conducted a survey of its members that showed the ports strike in British Columbia had a severe impact on their businesses and the Canadian economy. The poll was conducted between July 11 and July 13, 2023, and received input from manufacturers from across the country.
Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers in Canada said the strike affected their operations now, while another 28 per cent of respondents said it was only a matter of time until they experienced problems themselves. Of those impacted, just under 70 per cent said the impacts were “significant” to “severe”. Costs to individual manufacturing businesses experiencing delays were reported to be on average of $207,000 per day.
Most concerningly, however, nine out of 10 affected manufacturers said the strike disrupted their supply of raw materials or components, while 70 per cent reported that it negatively impacted their relationships with customers, hurting already fragile supply chains.
While the results of this survey revealed the reputational and economic costs of the strike, CME also asked what reforms manufacturers would like to see to prevent future labour disruptions. An overwhelming 95 per cent said they are in favour of reforms that that would allow the government to impose binding arbitration on striking workers, while another 97 per cent of respondents want the government to treat critical aspects of Canada’s transportation system as essential services.