Loading and unloading workers closed at the port of Quebec

Société des Stevedores de Québec, which brings together employers, has not yet announced its comments. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

A decision was issued to close the port of Quebec at noon Thursday in the middle of the cruise season.

It confirmed relevant local information from the Canadian Confederation of Public Employees (CUPE), an affiliate of the FTQ, and Société des arrimeurs de Québec, which brings together employers.

CUPE represents the 81 stevedores working in the port of Quebec.

On August 30, stevedoring workers voted in favor of authorizing pressure work that could go on strike, and that’s 98.5%. It is theoretically possible that they would have started a strike since 9/11, but they haven’t.

The union says the employer wants to implement 12-hour shifts, undermining the balance between work and family.

He specified that since the adoption of pressure tactics that could amount to a strike, its members began to practice certain pressure tactics to increase the balance of power at the negotiating table.

“It’s really horrible for an employer to be able to fire our members while we’re still at the negotiating table,” commented union advisor Dominic Cordo in the file for CUPE.

The union advisor added, “Not only is the role of the employer harming the local economy by slowing down the port’s stevedoring service, but it will also harm the international image of our city, as we are in the middle of the cruise season.”

For its part, the Swinging Association claims that it decreed the closure of the site because it was “put into an unsustainable position” and because the pressure tactics of stevedores were increasing “day by day”.

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“The positions of the parties are irreconcilable,” the Diggers Association maintains. “It is impossible to meet the union’s demands in the current context,” she adds.

The union retains its confidence in the negotiating process that has been launched. “We have always believed that the solution to our differences lies at the negotiating table,” Mr. Kordo commented.

The Port of Quebec describes itself on its website as the “Canadian Center for International Trade in Quebec”. About 28 million tons were transported there last year, “making the port among the five most important in the country.”

The Port of Quebec also reports that it generates $1.3 billion in economic benefits in Canada and that 236,715 visitors were brought in by international cruises in 2019, generating $221 million in economic benefits.

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