Montreal longshoremen go on strike

Longshoremen with the Canadian Union of Public Employees have declared a four-day strike at the Port of Montreal. They are protesting against their work schedule. The CUPE said that longshoremen at the port work a rotation with 19 days on and two days off, year round, not including holidays and times when the port is closed.

As a result of an order from the Canadian Industrial Relations Board the strike is not affecting grain shipments or cargoes for Newfoundland and Labrador. The port said that the strike would not impact petroleum cargoes.

Longshoremen are not handling lines for other cargo ships calling at Montreal until 07:00 on Friday morning July 31st. According to the operator’s site, truck gates at the Montreal Gateway Terminals are closed until Friday morning.

The CUPE has accused terminal operator Termont of using non-union labour to continue operations.

The port said that “the Montreal Port Authority is concerned about this situation, as Port activities are essential to keep the economy running smoothly and, in some cases, to ensure public health and safety. A prolonged stoppage or slowdown in port operations is unwelcome, not only for the logistics and supply chain but also for the businesses and citizens who benefit from the movement of goods.”

The port states that the longshoremen are employed by the Maritime Employers’ Association, not by individual terminals or the port authority.

On July 2nd longshoremen began a walkout at the Montreal Gateway Terminals, returning to work on July 4th.