North Vancouver, BC — Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan CEO, announced today that it has signed agreements with both the Canadian Merchant Service Guild (the Guild) and International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 400 to enter into binding arbitration/mediation.
Following extensive discussions with the Honourable Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Status of Women, Seaspan and both unions have agreed to allow the Federal Government to appoint an arbitrator who will run the process and be responsible for setting the terms of reference. Once the arbitration is complete, the outcome is binding and cannot be challenged by Seaspan or its unions.
As part of the agreement, Seaspan has agreed to forgo the new contract terms the company planned to implement on June 9, and both unions have agreed not to strike.
“I am very pleased with this outcome,” said Jonathan. “With the help of Minister Kellie Leitch, both Unions and Seaspan have agreed that stability in the Asia-Pacific Gateway is of the upmost importance and is critical to the success of the Port of Vancouver and the Canadian economy. We look forward to working with both unions and the government appointed arbitrator to bring the contract negotiations to a close as quickly as possible.”