Feds table back-to-work legislation for Port of Montreal workers

Port of Montreal dockworkers began a strike on April 26, stopping all operations at one of Canada’s busiest ports.

Although mediation began the same day, federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi introduced a bill to force workers to end the strike on April 27. The bill now goes before the House of Commons for debate.

The 1,150 dockworkers have been without a contract since December 2018. The unionized workers had held a 19-day strike last August which cost wholesalers approximately $600 million in lost sales, and had been refusing to work overtime and weekends since the start of April.

According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the current dispute was triggered when the Maritime Employers Association extended (MEA) employees’ workday without consultation. The MEA says workers need to be more flexible to adapt to the changing demands on the port.

The Port of Montreal is a key transit point for cargo going to businesses in Eastern Canada. Almost $275 million worth of goods move through the port in each day.

Click here for more background information about the strike.