Monday, April 22, 2024

Port of Montreal | The indefinite general strike is still under study

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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The Montreal Longshore Port Association, affiliated with the Canadian Confederation of Public Officials, is still considering an indefinite general strike, which is scheduled to begin Monday, April 26 at 7 a.m.

Leah CarrierLeah Carrier

The union sent the strike notice to the Association of Maritime Employers (AEM) Friday morning. “Thirty-six hours later, the employer still hasn’t called us back. It’s broadcasting silence,” union spokesperson Michelle Murray laments.

Unless an agreement is reached at the last minute, the strike, which would affect some 1,150 stevedores and maintenance workers, remains on. I have negotiated collective agreements in my life. I have never had such a silent business owner. Murray says he is “the master of silence.”

join JournalismThe Middle East News Agency confirmed that there was no “new development” for 36 hours, and that it would be in the mediation meeting scheduled for Monday. If Mr. Murray expresses his regret that the case has gotten this far, he would still say he is “optimistic”. “Our members are ready and eager to get answers.”

Changing tables

The union argued earlier last week that it was the change in working hours announced by Middle East Airlines on Thursday that prompted the filing of a 72-hour strike notice. Michel insisted that this schedule change “will have a negative impact on work-life balance, even though we have sat at a negotiating table trying to find an agreement to adjust working hours with our employees.”

He said that if the employer withdraws this new measure, which he wants to implement on Monday, April 26, the union will immediately abandon the partial strikes that began on April 14 and the general strike scheduled for Monday.

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“The ball is in the employer’s court,” then the union spokesman fired. At the end of Friday morning, the two parties received a notice of invitation from the Federal Conciliation and Mediation Department for Monday April 26 in the morning, and the union only learned of the invitation after its press conference.

This new complex situation is followed by a series of measures and countermeasures announced by both sides for a period of two weeks.

On April 10, the AEM movement reported that it would stop paying for hours not working from the 13th, which resulted in 14 in response to a partial strike in the evenings and weekends.

In the face of this drop in productivity, the business owner announced Thursday, April 22 that it will split the continuous schedule from April 26, which typically combines three operators and two cranes to allow container handling 24 hours a day.

Involved companies

The companies deplore the organization of this strike, which will lead to a complete and unlimited suspension of port activities. Veronique Brolux, Quebec’s chief manufacturer and exporter, says this will hurt the economic recovery.

“An indefinite strike will have major business impacts. Quebec producers and exporters are not sitting at the negotiating table, but most of them are.” [touch├ęs] From the current situation, “says M.I Prolex.

It claims these disruptions lead to additional costs and delays, directly affecting about 6,000 business users at the port.

With Mark Tyson, Journalism

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