Retail Council of Canada calls for end to labour dispute disrupting the movement of containers through Port Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - With strike action by container truckers scheduled to begin tomorrow at Port Metro Vancouver's container terminals, Retail Council of Canada (RCC) called upon all parties involved to take the necessary steps to avert the disruption of goods coming into Canada's largest gateway.

This disruption of container traffic comes at a time when there is already a significant backlog of containers as a result of weather conditions in Central and Eastern Canada.

"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 RCC.

With Port Metro Vancouver handling over $170 billion in goods annually, even a few days' disruption can have a major economic impact on the retail industry.   "Our greatest concern is that Canadian consumers will not be able to obtain the goods they require.  While it may be possible to re-route some containers through U.S. west coast ports, one inevitable consequence of doing so will be higher prices for consumers and lower economic activity in Canada," Ms. Brisebois added.

RCC appreciates the efforts of the British Columbia Government in working to achieve a settlement.  Retailers call upon all parties involved to be mindful of the impact on Canadian consumers and of the potential consequences for retail employment if goods are not getting through.  The retail sector is hopeful that an agreement can be reached at an early stage.

Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants. The retail industry employs 2.2 million Canadians, including almost 300,000 British Columbians.

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

For further information:

Greg Wilson
Director, Government Relations (B.C.)
Retail Council of Canada
gwilson@retailcouncil.org
Direct: 604-730-5254