MONTREAL, August 10, 2020 – This is day one of an indefinite strike called at 7:00 a.m. this morning at the Port of Montreal by the Union of Longshoremen of the Port of Montreal (CUPE 375). This follows a series of limited strikes since late July by the union as well as that of the checkers, Local 1657 of the International Longshoremen’s Association, who also announced an indefinite strike starting today at 3:00 p.m.
The collective agreement between the Union and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) expired on December 31, 2018. The talks are mainly stumbling over the issue of working hours, particularly with regards to work / life balance. Negotiations in the presence of the mediator are continuing, the union announced this morning.
In the meantime, liquid bulk handling, the Oceanex service (Bickerdike terminal) and the grain terminal (Viterra) are not affected by this situation. The Montreal Port Authority (APM) invites customers to contact or consult the websites of the various terminal operators, Termont (Viau and Maisonneuve) and MGT (Cast and Racine), to find out more about their situation on container transport.
The MPA deplores these indefinite strikes, because port activities are essential to the good functioning of the economy and, in this time of a global pandemic, for the health and safety of the public. A prolonged shutdown or slowdown in port operations has major repercussions on its partners, customers and ultimately on the economy of Quebec and Canada. Logistics supply chains must be maintained for the benefit of the businesses and citizens who benefit from the transit of goods.
The MPA therefore hopes that the employer of longshoremen, the Maritime Employers’ Association, and the Unions will be able to come to an agreement quickly.