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Port of Montreal dock workers set for another 4-day strike starting Monday

PortandTerminal.com, July 24, 2020

The strike will impact all terminals at the Port of Montreal except Empire Terminal servicing shipments to Newfoundland and the loading of grain.   

MONTREAL – Port of Montreal dock workers plan to walk off the job again for four days next week as ongoing negotiations over a new labour contract drag on.

Work will cease on Monday (July 27) at 7 a.m. and resume Friday (July 31) at 6:59 a.m., Local 375 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said Friday in a statement posted on Twitter. Union officials have sent a 72-hour notice confirming their intention to strike, said a spokesperson for the Maritime Employers Association.

“While discussions were ongoing, the Maritimes Employers Association (MEA) was not only surprised but disappointed by the executive committee of the Longshoremen’s Union to go ahead with means of pressure like a strike,” the association said in an emailed statement.

The walkout will also affect operations at the port’s Contrecoeur terminal. The port serves Canada and several U.S. states, and its sites extend over 15 miles on the island of Montreal and 2.5 miles in Contrecoeur.

Dockers have been without a labour agreement since Dec. 31, 2018. Negotiations had resumed recently after a ruling by the Canada Industrial Relations Board on essential services to maintain in the event of a strike.

This latest strike falls on the heels of a similar strike that took place at the beginning of this month.

Cargo volumes at the Port of Montreal have taken a hit through the COVID-19 crisis as they have at other ports around the world. In the first half of 2020 total cargo volume was down just under 9% vs 2019 at the port.

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