Port workers in the Canadian province of British Columbia could return to work by Thursday (27 July) after weeks of on-and-off strikes.
Around 7,400 workers at some of Canada’s largest ports went on strike from 1 July, seeking pay rises and job security. After some back n’ forth, it seems they might accept an offer including a 19% pay rise over four years.
And folks across North America will be happy if they do. The strikes:
- ✊ disrupted more than USD$10B in cargo
- 🚢 diverted ships to (and congested) ports across the US, and
- 🔗 disturbed supply chains that’ll take 2-3 months to recover.
Intrigue’s take: Canada, like many others, is wrestling with a couple of issues here. One is inflation: price spikes have eroded real wages, driving workers to demand raises. Inflation now seems to be cooling in Canada.
But the other issue is heating up: automation. 50 international ports are already on that path, and it’s hard to see how much longer Canada’s own ports can hold out.
Also worth noting:
- According to one World Bank report, the Port of Vancouver is the world’s second least-productive international port.