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New collective agreement ratified between Montreal port checkers and maritime employers

By Leo Ryan, Editor

Members of the union representing some 175 checkers at the Port of Montreal have approved by a large majority a new collective agreement with the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), it was announced. The MEA said, “Over 87% of the Port of Montreal checkers voted in favour of the agreement in principle reached last Friday.”

While details were not immediately outlined, Ian Mulcahy, President of ILA Local 1657, indicated that the new labour contract largely addresses job security and jurisdictional issues. “We want to be part of the future of the Port of Montreal and continue to play an important partnership role,” he told Maritime Magazine.

The new collective agreement with checkers, who inspect incoming and outgoing loads, runs until 2023, Mr. Mulcahy said. It replaces the contract which expired on December 31, 2018.

At one point during the series of job actions on the Montreal waterfront since early July, the checkers on July 31 launched their own strike following an announcement from the MEA that it was eliminating certain job security provisions from the collective agreement.

For their part, the 1,125 longshoremen began returning to work early Sunday after a truce was declared last Friday. The arrangement sets out a seven-month period where negotiations will take place without threat of any work stoppage by either MEA or the longshore union, CUPE 375.