End B.C. port strike, CFIB urges Ottawa, as half of businesses impacted

The Federation of Independent Businesses of Canada has called for an end to the strike, which has affected half of the country’s small businesses, saying it had “enough” with the ongoing shutdown of British Columbia ports.

Tuesday marked the 11th day of a strike by cargo loaders in B.C., causing chaos as shipping containers piled up in some of Canada’s busiest ports. More than 7,400 workers quit their jobs on Canada Day, demanding better wages and job security from maritime employers in British Columbia.

More than half (53%) of the nearly 1,400 business owners surveyed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) since July 6 said the strike had affected their operations. About 16% said the strike would not affect their business, and 31% said they were unsure of the impact.

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According to the CFIB, among the affected businesses are Ontario retailers waiting for shipments to stock up on clothing and footwear for the back-to-school season, as well as those in need of steel to complete projects on schedule. It is said that the Alberta construction company that is said to be included.

Experts interviewed by Global News said the Port of Vancouver and more than 30 other maritime gateways on the West Coast are critical to the functioning of Canada’s economy and are major ports for goods to and from Asia. Stated.

Canadians across the country may see prices rise the longer the strike goes on, experts say. The industry group Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters estimates that work stoppages disrupt $500 million worth of goods each day.

Saskatoon-based fertilizer company Nutrien Corp. has said it has cut production at its Corrie-kari mine following a strike by Vancouver dockworkers, and will cut production at other Saskatchewan potash mines if work stoppages continue. warned that it could affect

Click to play video: 'BC Port Strike Affects Saskatchewan: Chamber of Commerce'

BC Port Strike Affecting Saskatchewan: Chamber of Commerce

CFIB President Dan Kelly said in a statement on Tuesday: “We have received a lot of feedback from our members around the country who are concerned that the strike will cause them to miss critical sales, delay production and orders, or prevent their products from reaching export markets. I hear voices,” he said.

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Three-quarters of the companies surveyed by the CFIB said the federal government should make ending the strike a top priority.

CFIB vice president for state affairs Jasmine Gennett said in a statement Tuesday that “enough is enough”, adding that the federal government needed to “intervene quickly” to protect small businesses. Many small businesses are still recovering from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the subsequent impact on the supply chain.

The CFIB is calling on the federal government to enact a return-to-work bill to end the strike, including summoning Congress from summer vacation. Independent business groups had called on Ottawa to end the Canada Revenue Agency’s strike in May, but the work stoppage was ultimately resolved at the negotiating table.

Ottawa and provincial governments have called on the Canadian International Ports and Warehouses Association and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association to return to the negotiating table over the weekend with a federal mediator, but there is no indication that the two sides are nearing an agreement. rice field.

Unions have previously accused employers of waiting for the federal government to do “dirty work” without bargaining.

— With files from Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea and The Canadian Press

Click to play video: BC Port Strike: A Shine of Hope as Negotiations Reopen

BC Port Strike: Resumption of Negotiations Brings Hope

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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