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Unlimited general strike Monday |  The parties summoned Monday morning in front of the mediator

Unlimited general strike Monday | The parties summoned Monday morning in front of the mediator

(Montreal) The Port Union of Longshore Men in Montreal, affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 375, announced Friday morning that it will start an indefinite general strike on Monday April 26 at 7 am.

Mark TysonMark Tyson

The strike will affect about 1,150 stevedores, foremen and maintenance workers.

The union said the 72-hour notice the union sent to the Association of Maritime Employers (AEM) became necessary after the change in working hours announced by the Middle East and Africa Agency on Thursday.

“Even if the employer claims in his press release that the well-being of their employees is at heart, for us, it is a permanent powder,” said Michael Murray, a spokesperson for the unloading workers’ union, during a press conference on Friday. the noon.

Photo by Patrick Sunvawn Press

Stevedoring Workers Union spokesman Michel Murray

He said that this change of schedule “will have a negative impact on the balance between work and life, although we have sat at a negotiating table to try to find an agreement to amend working hours with our employees.”

He announced that if the employer withdrew the shift schedule procedure – in contrast to the continuous presence schedule – which he wanted to implement on Monday, April 26, the union would immediately abandon the strikes. Partial began on April 14 and the general strike is scheduled for Monday.

“The ball is in the employer’s court,” a union spokesman said.

In the middle of the afternoon, the Maritime Employers Syndicate responded in a press release that it was “still awaiting a response from the union on the two counter offers submitted on April 15th to the mediators”.

Counter attacks

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.

Faced with 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.

These decisions aim to protect the liquidity of the supply chain, and defend the business owner.

The union responds by saying it is a provocation gesture.

Our employees work twenty five hours a day, and the change of employer will increase the number of working hours to seven hours per working day.

Michelle Murray, spokesperson for the Montreal Port of Stevedoring Workers

Split schedule will not allow workers sharing the two cranes to arrange breaks to “go to pregnancy” [leur] The child is in nursery because the nursery doesn’t open at 7 am, ”for example, he explains.

He added that the dock berths would be overcrowded during meal times, forcing the excess numbers to eat in their cars.

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Monday held before the broker

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.

“We’ll be there on Monday,” AEM said.

Meanwhile, the union maintains its strike notice, and says the employer did not respond to his offer of a truce.

It ensures that its members will comply with Canadian labor law provisions affecting grain vessels and maintaining cargo and discharging activities related to the supply of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Immediate full closure of port activities

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) deplores this new development which, with a partial strike already underway over the weekends, will lead to a complete and unlimited shutdown of port activities on Saturday.

This new business halt is a brake on the major role that port operations play in the economic recovery and will have significant and very tangible impacts on local residents and SMEs.

Martin Emplo, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, in a press release

MEA confirms that the weekend strike on April 17 and 18 has already paralyzed 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers (twenty feet equivalent).

For his part, the Canadian Labor Minister’s office, Philomena Tassi, indicated that no progress had been made since the beginning of the week, despite contacts with mediators.

“Companies in Quebec, Ontario, and our economy as a whole need to see this situation resolved quickly,” the email said. This new escalation is very worrying. As we said before, we are currently looking at all of the options. ”

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– With Karim bin Issa, Journalism