Retail industry relieved as Vancouver port strike ends

Canada's retail industry can breathe a sigh of relief as container truck drivers end their strike at Canada's busiest port. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark announced yesterday afternoon that an agreement was reached among the members of the United Truckers Association and Unifor and the Province, the federal government and Port Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver's port will be open for business this morning.

About 250 unionized truckers went on strike March 10, 2014, joining about 1,000 non-unionized truckers who had walked off the job in February. As a result, container shipping at Port Metro's four terminals was cut by about 90%. If the strike had continued and goods were left stranded, it could have had an even worse impact on Canadian retailers and consumers, as well as potential consequences for retail employment. 

Port Metro Vancouver handles over $170 billion in goods annually. Even a few days' disruption can have a major economic impact on Canada's retail industry. 

"The operation of the Port of Vancouver is of vital importance to the retail industry across Canada. Retailers view the current labour dispute with growing concern," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada.