Metro Vancouver businesses hurting as B.C. port strike drags on
Will Routley typically ships 150,000 cans and bottles of kombucha and cold herbal tea a month to his customers, including Costco and 7-Eleven. His operations have now come to a halt because he’s missing about 300,000 glass bottles and aluminum cans that are sitting in four shipping containers, stuck at the Port of Vancouver as the port strike enters its second week.
The owner of Abbotsford-based Functional Beverage Group said if the port strike drags on, it could cost him up to $200,000 in lost sales in the next month.
“It’s having a huge impact,” said Routley, who started the locally sourced beverage business seven years ago with his wife, Shoshauna Routley. “We’re just watching the news every day hoping it’s resolved.”
About 7,400 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada have been on strike since July 1, calling for higher wages and better protection against contracting out work and automation. Dock workers and their employer held a round of bargaining over the weekend, the first since negotiations collapsed one week ago, but neither side is saying when more talks are planned.