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St. Lawrence Shipoperators  urge Ottawa to intervene quickly in Montreal port strike

St. Lawrence Shipoperators, which represents 14 domestic shipowners and operators, today expressed concern about the indefinite general strike at the Port of Montreal and wants a settlement as soon as possible to prevent the economy from suffering further in the context of a global pandemic and severe economic downturn. 

Despite the position of the Minister of Labour, the Hon. Filomena Tassi, the Association believes that only the federal government can prevent the situation from getting worse.

“The economy has suffered enough since the beginning of the year. The next few months may also be difficult for our sector,” said Louise Bédard, Executive Director of Armateurs du Saint-Laurent. “Given the real impact of this indefinite strike, we are asking for Ottawa’s help in providing the necessary tools for negotiations to allow for a speedy settlement to the satisfaction of both parties.

“It is the duty of the federal government to intervene so that this essential service can continue. After experiencing several slowdowns in recent months due to the pandemic and the rail blockade, among other things, the maritime industry is once again hard hit by the situation at the Port of Montreal.

“This strike, if it is not resolved quickly, will have immediate repercussions on the supply of several businesses and companies, which are already heavily affected.  Many ships will also have to wait in the St. Lawrence River or find other destinations, and long-term impacts are to be expected. “

“If the strike persists,” Ms Bédard said, “international companies will turn to other ports along the East Coast. This untenable situation could erode the competitiveness of the entire Quebec maritime sector.