Ongoing Strikes Hit Port Productivity


Indefinite strike action at a Canadian port is already impacting operations with an estimated 65,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs) stuck on its docks.

This indefinite strike by the Longshoremen Union, CUPE Local 375 at the Port of Montreal is already affecting operations, Montreal Port Authority (MPA) told Port Strategy. The Union is currently negotiating the renewal of a collective agreement with the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), but this is taking its toll on the port. This is the fourth work stoppage by dockworkers at port since 2 July this year, said MPA.

“With the information currently available to us, it is estimated that approximately 65,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs) are on our docks or on the dozen of ships that have been diverted to other ports. Moreover, it is estimated that close to 325,000 tonnes of dry bulk could also be impacted by the situation if it persists over the next few weeks,” said Mélanie Nadeau, director of communications at MPA.

In a press release, the port authority said it “deplores the conflict between the Maritime Employers Association and the Longshoremen Union” and is “very concerned” about the impact of the strikes.

Notice of the indefinite strike beginning 10 August was given to the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) by the Longshoremen Union, CUPE Local 375, to encompass the suspension of berthage services and the handling of goods in the port’s terminals.

The Port of Montreal is connected to 6,300 transport businesses and the source of 19,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, said MPA.

MPA said it supports federal government intervention but on 11 August, Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour declared that the government would not intervene and it has “faith in the collective bargaining process”.
Source: Port Strategy



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