photo CUPE 375
By Leo Ryan, Editor
Amidst ongoing strikes by the CUPE 375 longshore union at the Port of Montreal, negotiations are slated to re-open tomorrow and continue until Friday, confirmed a spokesperson for the Maritime Employers Association (MEA). The two sides have been locked in tense talks for many months to conclude a new collective agreement replacing the one which expired on December 31, 2018, with working schedules and increased automation among the most sensitive issues.
As the negotiations resume, Canada’s second largest port will be impacted by the second four-day strike in two weeks launched Monday by dockers – this time targeting the two container terminals operated by Termont. The prolonged waterfront strive has in the past few days prompted several carriers to begin diverting ships to such East Coast ports as Saint John, Halifax and New York.
In light of current developments, the MEA yesterday presented a notice of modification of working conditions to the union representing more than 1,100 longshoremen.
“Effective Thursday August 6 th , 15h00, the working conditions will be adjusted to the scale of the manufacturing sector for evening, night and weekend shifts,” the MEA indicated. “The Association and its members have been forced to implement these measures as a result of recent union pressure tactics which have translated into an unusually high amount of time and a half and double time shifts.
“This decision is necessary following the numerous pressure tactics set in place by the Union, such as the complete stop of overtime work and training. This last tactic could have a significant impact as it could put the Association and its members in to a technical strike in a few months and considerably harm the recovery of normal operations. The Maritime Employers Association continues to favor amicable negotiations and urges the union to intensify the pace of these dialogs in order to reach a quick and mutually beneficial agreement.”