Canadian consumers yet to feel effects of strike

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Canadian consumers yet to feel effects of strike

Experts have said that Canadian consumers have yet to feel the effects of a port strike in British Columbia, but businesses are beginning to be affected, as the docks handle 25 percent of the country's foreign trade.

When it began, the strike by 7400 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada closed more than 30 West Coast port terminals.

Robin Guy, a vice president and deputy leader of government relations at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said the affected ships handle cargo worth $600 million daily.

It affects us, it affects people worldwide who are relying on Canadian goods to be delivered, Mr. Henrick said in a statement.

Canadian consumers are yet to really see significant effects for weeks, said Greg Wilson, director of government relations for the Retail Council of Canada. If your products are stuck, you're angry, as you're a small retailer. Large retailers have more flexibility. Their supply chain professionals can work to divert containers to other ships, the Associated Press reported.

The longer those outbound shipments get backed up, the more issues they have here domestically with inventories at their own location and possibly having to cut back production because of that, said Robert Kavcic, an economics professor at the Bank of Montreal.

The British Columbia Council of Forest Industries urged those parties involved in the strike to settle the dispute, stressing that the closed ports handle forest product exports worth about $11 billion annually.

Businesses and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan have urged the federal government to intervene and help end the strike.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference that the best deals are reached at the bargaining table.

Earlier this week, the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, which represents employers in the strike, said that more bargaining would be unlikely to produce an agreement.