July 6, 2022 09:23

Canadian government intervenes with escalating Montreal port strike

The Port of Montreal.
The Port of Montreal.

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House of Commons issued a public notice indicating that the government was moving quickly to intervene.

MONTREAL — Longshoremen began a strike at the Port of Montreal on Monday, April 26. According to the House of Commons, the Canadian federal government moved quickly to intervene and force them back to work.

American Shipper reports that 1,150 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 375 began the strike and further escalated it at Canada’s second-busiest port. Besides, all cargo operations at the port have shut down except for liquid bulk.

Labor Minister Filomena Tassi introduced “An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of operations at the Port of Montreal.”

Local news reports indicate that the proposed act could go before lawmakers as early as Tuesday of this week.

“After several strike episodes in 2020 and 2021, which have had and continue to have serious economic and logistical impact, it is mission-critical that the Port of Montreal be able to fully and sustainably play its strategic role as an economic engine at the service of the local population and SMEs without interruption,” said Martin Imbleau, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority. “A partial strike now underway and notice of an unlimited general strike sent by the union have resulted in a total halt of cargo handling activities since last Friday. Port of Montreal clients can expect delays in the delivery of their goods for the next few days and even weeks.”

CUPE’s 1,125 longshoremen had already refused to work weekends and nights after rejecting a collective bargaining agreement in March from the Maritime Employers Association. Perrine Beatty, chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, added: “A labor stoppage would not only prevent goods from passing through the port but would also create congestion at other ports.”

“The Port of Montreal is an essential contributor to Canada’s trade with the world,” said Beatty. “A labor stoppage would not only prevent goods from passing through the port but would also create congestion at other ports, causing bottlenecks at key points of entry for Canadian businesses. We call upon all Members of Parliament to pass the bill expeditiously to prevent the serious damage a strike would have on jobs and on Canada’s economic recovery.”

This is a developing story.

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