The work stoppage at BC ports has sparked predictable rhetoric from employer groups and pro-business commentators and politicians. They claim longshore workers are greedy and resistant to change, and must be forced back to work through legislation, in order to protect the national economy.
This argument has it exactly backwards. It is the shipping companies and terminal operators whose greed has disrupted Canada’s economy, including by contributing to the worst inflation in decades. And it is their resistance to change – in particular, opposing more stable and efficient ways to support training, skills, and stability in longshore work – that is the only barrier to a quick settlement.
In this new report, Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford reviews the economic facts behind the current dispute, and documents the unprecedented profits which the global shipping industry has raked in since the COVID pandemic.
Please see the full report, Fighting For Stable and Fair Longshore Jobs, by Jim Stanford.