The Maritime Employers Association (MEA) of the Canadian port of Montreal gave 72 hours’ notice Saturday morning to Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 375, which represents the port’s longshoremen.
Its intention to withdraw the income guarantee enjoyed by the longshoremen.
This action was taken after the port “suffered a significant volume drop of 11% in March, caused by uncertainty and anxiety caused by the labor relations situation.”
The union responded the same day. It has notified the MEA that, as of April 13, dockworkers will not work overtime or participate in training activities. As of April 17, union members will not work weekend shifts.
On March 21, 2021, the union rejected an offer from MEA, with 99.71% of members voting against. At a press conference following the vote, union representative Michel Murray said the union was aware of vessels already being diverted from the port and accused MEA of not playing fair.
The union has been without a contract since 2018. After a 12-day strike in August 2020, the stevedores and MEA agreed to a 7-month truce, which ended on March 20.
Although negotiations resumed in early April, the weekend’s activities indicate that the two sides are no closer to resolving their differences.