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Federal government set to intervene as Port of Montreal heads toward another strike

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Federal government set to intervene as Port of Montreal heads toward another strike

The prospect of another strike on the port — staunch seven months after the outdated one — has anxious companies and politicians alike.

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Labour Minister Filomena Tassi indicated she could well table regulations as earlier as Wednesday to stop the labour dispute on the Port of Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The federal government is making ready to hasten thru regulations within the occasion that dock workers on the Port of Montreal hasten forward with a deliberate strike on Monday morning.

A understand paper printed on Sunday signifies that Labour Minister Filomena Tassi could well, as early as Wednesday, table a invoice aimed toward ending the labour dispute.

The contents of the invoice rep now not been made public, and it’s miles now not particular if it goes to resemble broken-down abet-to-work regulations.

The understand paper offers the government the possibility of tabling regulations rapid and bypassing a number of of the identical outdated legislative steps.

“Placing forward this understand is our government’s least-favoured option. We take into consideration within the collective bargaining task,” Tassi stated in a string of tweets on Sunday.

“On the opposite hand, the government ought to act when all assorted efforts rep been exhausted and a work stoppage is causing important financial hurt to Canadians.”

Last summer’s strike on the Port of Montreal be aware companies an estimated $600 million in lost sales, in accordance to Statistics Canada. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

The strike is slated to originate at 7 a.m. on Monday, in accordance to a understand equipped last week by the union. A mediation session is scheduled to originate two hours later.

The prospect of another strike on the port — easiest seven months after the outdated one — has anxious companies and politicians alike.

A piece stoppage that lasted 19 days in August tousled provide chains across Eastern Canada. Some shipments were rerouted to assorted ports, while others had to wait weeks for the backlog to be cleared in Montreal.

Statistics Canada estimated the August strike be aware wholesalers about $600 million in lost sales. Household goods and building offers were specifically affected.

Quebec welcomes Ottawa’s intervention

The federal government did not win serious about last year’s dispute, but Quebec has been pressuring Ottawa to grasp a extra full of life aim this time.

Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon welcomed the federal government’s plan to legislate an stop to the battle.

“It is a extreme narrate for our companies. Two strikes in a single year is now not a suitable whine of affairs,” Fitzgibbon stated in a tweet on Sunday.

However MP Alexandre Boulerice, deputy leader of the NDP, stated that by signalling their intent to legislate, the federal Liberals are undermining the union’s probabilities of negotiating an even deal.

“I get dangle of it pitiful for the federal government to interfere when the strike hasn’t even begun but,” Boulerice stated. “By signalling their plan to table abet-to-work regulations, they are siding with management.”

Schedules remain point of contention

The 1,150 port workers affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Workers rep been with out a contract since 2018.

The union says the most trendy battle erupted when their employer, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), extended the workday with out consultation.

Transport containers are shown on the Port of Montreal on this file photo. A general strike on the port is set to originate on Monday. The 1,150 port workers affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Workers rep been with out a contract since 2018. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

If the employer backtracks on that alternate, the union has promised to call off the strike. For the past a number of weeks, union participants rep protested the adjustments by refusing to work weekends or time past regulation.

Work schedules rep been a important point of contention for the length of the contract negotiations. While the employers association wants extra flexibility from the workers, the union is making an are attempting to get dangle of to toughen work-life balance.

“The Maritime Employers Association is today making ready for the mediation session,” the association stated in a statement. “The MEA is hoping for a negotiated settlement.”

A spokesperson for the union has now not but answered to a put a query to for comment.

The Port of Montreal is the 2nd-ideal port in Canada and is guilty for an estimated 19,000 state and indirect jobs.

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Federal government set to intervene as Port of Montreal heads toward another strike