With the Port of Montreal becoming more congested each passing day with longshoremen refusing to work overtime and on weekends, the Maritime Employers Association announced a “switch to regular schedules in order to maintain the fluidity of the logistics chain” as of next Monday.
To continue to adequately serve the population, the MEA has evaluated all the available options and will use, as of Monday, April 26th, the provisions of the Collective Agreement which allow it to switch to regular weekday schedules in order to maintain the fluidity of the logistics chain, the MEA stated. ”This option will help to counter, in part, the harmful effects of the overtime and weekend strike launched by the union.”
“The 80% of workers working 5.2 hours on an 8 hour shift will now work a full 7 hours,” explained Isabelle Pelletier, MEA communications manager. “Normally they are 3 workers for 2 machines. Now there will be 3 workers for 3 machines. We win on productivity with every worker working full shift on their own machine.”
While still waiting for a response from the union regarding the two counter-proposals submitted through the mediators this past April 15th , the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) also indicated it was awaiting instructions from the latter regarding the next steps and offered clarification on where negotiations actually stand.
“There has not been a single day of negotiations since April 15th, even though the MEA has been available.
“The MEA cares about the well-being of its employees and understands that improving their work-life balance is an important demand for them. This is why the counter-proposals submitted on April 15th were amended to include improvements with respect to this demand.
“It’s important to note that the April 15th counter-proposals were intended as a response to the counter-proposal submitted by the union on April 8th.”
The MEA and CUPE 375, the union representing 1,150 dockers, have been unable to conclude negotiations to replace a collective agreement which expired on December 31, 2018. A 7-month armistice ended on March 21, and the union launched partial strikes on April 13 and subsequently renewed a vote favouring eventual full strike action.
(Photo Port of Montreal)