Montreal port workers begin strike

by Today's Trucking

A general strike at the Port of Montreal has begun with more than 1,000 longshoremen, affiliated to the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local (CUPE) 375, walking off the job at 7 a.m. on Monday, CityNews Montreal reported. A mediation session was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

The federal government will intervene, said labour minister Filomena Tassi in a series of tweets on Sunday.

Port de Montréal
Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal walked off work on April 26. (Photo: Port of Montreal)

“This morning, our government issued a notice to introduce legislation entitled ‘An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of activities at the Port of Montreal’,” Tassi, tweeted on Sunday.

“The government must act when all other options are exhausted and a labour dispute causes significant economic damage to Canadians. The Port of Montreal is essential to the economic vitality of Canadians across the country, particularly those in Quebec and the eastern part of the country,” her tweet said.

The longshoremen say the actions are in response to a change in work shifts that their employer wants to impose on them. They had already been on an overtime strike and refused to work on weekends since April 17 and 18.

CUPE is slamming the federal government’s decision to introduce back-to-work legislation to end the labour action.

“Once again the Trudeau Liberals are acting like Conservatives, siding with bosses against workers by meddling in the bargaining process,” said CUPE national president Mark Hancock. “There can never be free, fair collective bargaining in Canada under the threat of back-to-work legislation.”

CUPE is demanding the Liberals withhold their back-to-work legislation, which would infringe upon workers’ rights to free and fair bargaining. These types of bills have been repeatedly found to be unconstitutional by the courts.

“Employers have no incentive to bargain in good faith when they know the government will come to their rescue,” said CUPE national secretary-treasurer Charles Fleury. “This is disgraceful conduct from a government that pretends to be a friend to working people.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • i would be curious to know what is the average wage of these workers and union representatives? … and how much disruption of their work shifts is really taking place ?

    They are right in saying that they have a constitutional right to fair bargaining but as a members and citizens of our country /society
    they also have to take in to account the disruption to other citizens and fellow workers, they do not live in a vaccuum .

  • Yes, the port workers do have the right, but to go on strike today i would say their timing not fair to all the other citizens at this time under such conditions. Many do not have jobs, some are not getting paid so who would stand up for them. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done but ignorance is not the style of the port workers I hope! We are in this all together so let’s role up our sleeves and do our jobs whoever still has theirs.