Contract Negotiations between the International Warehouse & Longshoremen’s Union (ILWU) and port owners in Canada have broken down after the union pulled out of talks.

Just two weeks into negotiations, the union has asked the federal government in Ottawa for conciliation. Port workers are seeking significant wage increases along with improvements in benefits and working conditions.

According to a report in The Loadstar, a conciliation officer has to be appointed within 15 days, and the process is set for 60 days, but can be extended upon request from both sides. They have gone through this on previous occasions without reaching a compromise.

Negotiations across the border, between US ports and unions, had a boost last month when some important issues appeared to be agreed, but the discussions seem to be moving along at a snail’s pace.

With labour contract talks unresolved in both countries, the potential for port strikes this year in North America is looming. Westbund continue to monitor the situation.

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