Negotiations between the union representing dockers and the Maritime Employers Association at the Port of Montreal are “on pause” after four days of resumed talks seeking to resolve outstanding issues, an informed source disclosed today.
A total information embargo is in force on the progress of the negotiations which reportedly will be continuing later this week. No details are available if new offers have been put on the table.
Amidst wide expressions of alarm from the Port of Montreal, the federal Labour Department, port stakeholders and shippers as well as reports of carriers making contingency plans to potentially divert vessels to other ports, recently resumed negotiations were suspended until further notice on February 12. The two sides had agreed last August to a seventh month truce – which expires on March 21, 2021 – last August 21. But the suspended talks re-opened discreetly last Thursday.
Working hours and scheduling have been the biggest issues between negotiators from and MEA and the CUPE 375 union representing 1,125 dockers for renewing a collective agreement which expired on December 31, 2018.
A series of rotating strikes last summer prompted about a dozen containerships to divert their calls to such ports as Halifax, Saint John and New York, while at the same time creating major supply chain bottlenecks in eastern Canada.
(photo port of Montreal)