Montreal longshore workers reject employer offer

by Steve Bouchard, Editor, Transport Routier

Members of the local union of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), affiliated with the FTQ, strongly rejected the contract offer from the Maritime Employers Association. the offer was presented to union members on Sunday, March 21 at a special general meeting.

The vote was 99.7 percent against the proposal.

The union does not intend, for the moment, to send a strike notice, a mandatory step to trigger a work stoppage.

“Our members also voted 98 percent symbolically to ask the employer to return to the bargaining table. This very evening, we will call the mediators. Our objective is to return to the table to reach a negotiated agreement,” union advisor Michel Murray said at a press conference.

CUPE accuses employers’ organizations of conveying falsehoods.

“Before the end of the truce, we could not comment on the state of the negotiations. Unfortunately, there have been several falsehoods that have been conveyed by employers’ organizations in the public space during this time. We are happy to finally be able to correct some of his erroneous claims. But above all, we want a return to the negotiating table” Murray said.

The Quebec Trucking Association (QTA) said this situation, which has been going on for more than two years, must come to an end.

“The federal government, through the Minister of Labor, Filomena Tassi, must send a clear signal by mobilizing all the actors and levers necessary for the resolution of this conflict,” it said in an email.

“The climate of uncertainty that persists at the Port of Montreal generates significant economic costs and adds to the fragility of the economic recovery of Montreal and Quebec. The QTA is calling on the federal government to intervene without delay and to position itself that a shutdown of activities at the Port of Montreal will not be tolerated. “