Seaway workers vote to strike

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by Emily Atkins

Members of Unifor Local 4212 and Local 4323 in Ontario and 4320 in Quebec working for the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation voted 99 percent in favour of a strike should negotiations not result in a deal by the October 21, 2023 strike deadline.

“Seaway workers manage the transit of more than 200 million tons of cargo each year and they deserve fair wages for the vital and challenging work they do,” said Lana Payne, Unifor national president.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, as a contractor of the federal government, must meet wage expectations and show these workers the value of their labour.”

Negotiations with the employer began on June 19 and 20, 2023 with additional dates from September 25 through 29. The parties decided to use a conciliator to facilitate discussions from the onset of bargaining.

“Workers are expecting wage increases, especially given the current cost of living, and they have made it clear that the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation hasn’t yet offered enough to settle this agreement,” said Daniel Cloutier, the union’s Quebec regional director. “The trade corridor doesn’t work without the workers – and they are demanding and deserving of respect.”

Bargaining will resume October 17, 18 and 19.