Threat Of Logistics Strikes In North America & Europe

June 19, 2024

Threat Of Logistics Strikes In North America & Europe

The threat of labour strikes are looming large in both Europe and North America, which could have a negative impact on ocean freight services during the coming weeks.

Labour unions in Germany carried out a warning port strike at the country’s key ports, including Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Bremen and Emden, on Monday 17th June ahead of this week’s talks with the Central Association of German Seaport Operators. Operations were disrupted during the walk out over pay, with a series of future strikes being threatened. The last round of talks ended unsuccessfully.

French port workers have also been engaged in several stoppages and one-day strikes during recent weeks in protest over pension reforms. However, since President Macron called his surprise snap-election, two further walksouts planned for this month have now been postponed until September.

In Canada, around 9,000 railway workers from The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union (TCRC) and the Canadian Pacific Kansas City union (CPKC) are on the verge of a walkout after members voted for strike action at the end of May. Under Canadian labour law, strikes cannot legally start without ratification from the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), who are expected to confirm their decision soon following final submissions recently being received.

A rail strike in Canada would impact ocean freight services to and from Canada and also some US Northern States, due to the huge amount of traffic that moves internally by rail.

And finally, a labour dispute is also developing in the United States. The International Longshoremen Association (ILA), has suspended its negotiations with port employers over a new labour contract for its 85,000 workers. If a strike was to materialise, then up to 36 ports could be disrupted on the East and Gulf Coasts.

 

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