Vancouver / West Coast Labor Strike Updates

Vancouver

Late on February 16th, 2015, an agreement was reached between the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway and union locomotive representatives to enter into binding government arbitration.  The short lived strike that began Sunday is now officially over.

Movement of rail cargo is expected to resume as of this morning. CP announced the federal government would appoint an arbitrator to facilitate discussion over work conditions.  This is all the information being released at this time.

Kellie Leitch, Canada’s Minister of Labor, said in a statement, “I applaud both parties for coming to this agreement that will ensure the continuation of Canada’s rail services.”

U.S. West Coast

In West Coast labor news, U.S. Labor Secretary, Thomas E. Perez, is scheduled to meet today with International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) negotiators.  Mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service have been involved with little progress since early January and it is hoped that Secretary Perez’s intervention will steer talks in a more positive direction.

Perez has no power to impose a settlement; however, industry officials are hopeful his involvement will encourage increased participation by both sides.   Guidance is imperative as West Coast port delays have reached crisis levels.

Thirty-two ships, including 21 container ships, are currently sitting off the coast of Los Angeles/Long Beach due to extreme congestion. Ships also have been idled at Oakland and the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma.   This news comes at the end of a 4-day work stoppage over the recent President’s Day weekend.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and advise you of any important updates.