Port of Montreal to reopen after twelve-day wage strike

24 August 2020 (Last Updated August 24th, 2020 11:50)

The Port of Montreal Longshoremen's Union (CUPE 375) and the Maritime Employers Association (AEM) have finalised an agreement to end the twelve-day workers strike at Port of Montreal in Canada.

The Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union (CUPE 375) and the Maritime Employers Association (AEM) have finalised an agreement to end the twelve-day workers strike at Port of Montreal in Canada.

Following the signing of the agreement, the operations resumed at the port.

The agreement was signed after a labour dispute and includes a seven-month period of truce without a pause in operations.

The strike was initiated on 10 August due to disputes over wages and scheduling. Longshoremen have claimed that they have worked without a contract since 2018.

CUPE 375 spokesperson Michel Murray and MEA president Martin Tessier carried out a joint press conference regarding the issue.

The parties have reached a common ground regarding the truce parameters and are ‘confident that they will be able to reach an agreement in principle negotiated by the end of the truce 20 March 2021’.

In a statement, the CUPE 375 said: “Both parties have agreed to suspend all pressure tactics during these months. By mutual agreement, they will be able to resort to arbitration at the end of this truce if certain points remain in dispute.”

The port started operations from 7 am local time on 23 August, which will facilitate the movement of containers that were stuck.

Due to the strike, many containers and cargo were diverted to other US and Canadian ports.

CBC said that there were heightened tensions at the port when the officials said that they would bring replacement workers to move the stranded containers that included those transporting essential goods amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Workers can initiate a strike if an agreement is not finalised by the end of the truce period in March.

In March last year, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and LOGISTEC announced that Viau Terminal will undergo the second construction phase to increase its handling capacity.