The Marine Employers Association (AEM) has decided to change the working hours of stevedores starting next Monday. In order to keep the logistics chain fluid, employees will have to settle for unchanging timescales, AEM argues.
“To continue serving the population, AEM has evaluated all available options and will, as of Monday April 26, use the provisions of a collective agreement that allow it to move to non-change schedules (called shifting) in order to preserve liquidity from the logistics chain. This option will help, in part. In the face of the harmful effects of the overtime and weekend strike launched by the union, the Maritime Employers Association said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
Last week, the two sides were at the negotiating table. On April 8, the Montreal Port of Stevedoring Workers Union made a global bid to the employer. A week later, the Maritime Employers Association filed a counter-offer to the middlemen. After receiving no feedback from the union following their offer, the association acted by adjusting employees’ working hours.
Since the beginning of the week, the federation has insisted with the mediators that the employer sit at the negotiating table so that we can answer our questions. The mediators asked us to submit the union’s questions in writing before re-convening the parties, ”said the Union of Stevedoring Workers at the Port of Montreal in a press release published Thursday evening.
As the union was preparing to submit questions asked by brokers, it learned that the employer intends to change working hours starting Monday, April 26th.
“This is the second time in less than two weeks that the employer, instead of putting his energies on the negotiating table to reach a negotiated settlement, puts pressure on the loading and unloading workers and thus seeks to provoke a reaction from the union,” we read in the union’s press release.
The union regrets that the counter-proposal is not acceptable, as it is based on the offer that was already rejected by 99.71% by stevedores, during a secret ballot in March 2021. It is also remembered that such a change in schedules had been implemented in the fall of 2018 and that this The measure “sparked a strong reaction from the federation and its members.”
For its part, the association asserts that the port is crowded and that the situation has become “more and more dangerous”.
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