A labor union in Canada is warning of a potential strike at the Port of Montreal.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
MONTREAL — The Shipping Federation of Canada, a trade association representing ocean-going ships, says that the threat of a work stoppage at the Port of Montreal could force North American importers and exporters to divert large volumes of international cargo.
The federation notes that the local, provincial, and national economy damage would be significantly impacted if a work stoppage and a labor strike are called.
“The federation says that damage to the local, provincial and national economies would be significant and could not happen at a worse time, considering the complex logistics involved in delivering medical supplies and equipment in the midst of a pandemic,” notes the federation in a press statement. “The organization is also concerned that once logistics chains are re-organized around other hubs, including those in the United States, it will be difficult to re-establish arrangements through the port.”
According to The Canadian Press, the Maritime Employers Association met with the longshoremen’s union affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The union, which represents 1,125 longshoremen, concluded that a seven-month truce wasn’t enough as a 10-day strike is set to expire on March 20.
“The Federation believes that a port strike would have dire, long lasting consequences and strongly encourages all stakeholders to deploy every effort to obtain a settlement. Time is of the essence,” the federation said.