A month before the end of the deal last summer between the Montreal Longshoremen harbor and their owners, the stalemate in negotiations worries the Montreal Port Authority and the industries that use its services.
After seven days of negotiations, federal government mediators announced last Friday that they were suspending talks between the Syndicate des Longshoremen du Port de Montreal and the Maritime Employers Association. The panel of arbitrators feels that the two parties are still far behind in their demands for an agreement.
“These are not good signs,” Sophie Rooks, vice president of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), responded by phone. “This creates an atmosphere of uncertainty about the reliability of port operations.”
According to OmTo me Many Quebec and Ontario companies, such as Roux, Olimel, Result Forest Products, Society des Alcoles du Quebec and Dollarama, have already begun using new ways to import or export their goods in containers, fearing a new strike at the expiration date. Treaty on March 21st.
“Last summer’s effects began with work stoppages, but [entreprises qui utilisent les services du port de Montréal] Having this bad experience, they have the opportunity to be active in ensuring the continuation of their trade, ”explained Sophie Rooks.
“We learned about the conflict last summer,” said Richard Vignelt, head of corporate communications at Olimel. We have a contingency plan that will lead us to ship through other Atlantic harbors. ”
At the Association du Camonez du Quebec (ACQ), members fear another strike by stewardores, which could lead to longer delivery times and disrupt supply chains.
At the moment we are all financially weak. It took three months to get out of the final strike as maintenance costs skyrocketed.
Mark Kodiux, CEO of ACQ
Mark Kodiak fears long-term effects on the Montreal harbor if a second strike occurs. “This second blow will have very serious consequences for the future of the port of Montreal,” he laments. Ship owners who have to go somewhere else, I had no idea they would be back so soon. ”
The MPA calls on interested parties and the federal government to “make no effort” to reach a negotiated agreement. “There is still time and we want to do everything we can to avoid everything we already experienced last summer,” adds M.To me Reox.
The MPA manages the facilities of the Port of Montreal, but does not employ longshoremen who work for private companies. It is therefore not directly involved in the negotiations.
In Ottawa, Labor Minister Philomena Tassi called on mediators who left the negotiating table to “stay in touch with the parties.”
We encourage both parties to make the necessary efforts to reach an agreement.
Philomena Tassi, Minister of Labor
“We are currently evaluating all our options and we are ready to negotiate,” the Association of Maritime Employers (AEM), which represents the employer party, responded in a statement Tuesday evening.
The Longshoremen’s Union of the Port of Montreal is not remembered The Press, Wednesday.
The strike of 1,125 stewardesses at the port of Montreal was called on August 10 and lasted for 12 days. On August 23, the Union and the AEM announced a seven-month truce without pressure tactics to negotiate a new collective agreement. Longshormen have been without collective agreement since 2018.