Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Containers are stacked at the Port of Montreal on March 1, 2019.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A significant volume of activity at the Port of Montreal could be paralyzed starting Monday after unionized dock workers issued a notice saying they intend to strike.

The Maritime Employers Association, which represents ship owners and operators, received a notice from the longshoremen that they will walk off the job for four days starting Monday at 7 a.m., the Port of Montreal said in a notice Friday posted to its website.

Mooring and cargo-handling services usually provided by the workers will be suspended, the port authority said. It said it will try to make up for the delays.

Story continues below advertisement

“[We’re] concerned about this situation, as port activities are essential to keep the economy running smoothly and, in some cases, to ensure public health and safety,” the Port of Montreal said in the notice. “A prolonged stoppage or slowdown in port operations is unwelcome, not only for the logistics and supply chain but also for the businesses and citizens who benefit from the movement of goods.”

An extended strike at Eastern Canada’s biggest port could undermine the region’s economic recovery at a critical time. Factories in Quebec and Ontario are ramping back up after forced closings in the spring to contain the coronavirus pandemic and many exporters depend on the port to get their goods to international markets.

Up to 1,151 workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees-led Syndicat des Débardeurs will take part in the pressure tactics, according to a portion of the strike notice shared with The Globe and Mail. The stoppage includes activities at the main port lands as well as its Contrecoeur terminal, the notice states.

Ronald Boisrond, spokesman for the union, declined to comment Friday on the reasons for the walkout.

Employers Association spokesman Apraham Niziblian said there were many intense days of negotiations, including Friday. “That is why we are surprised by the announcement of the strike,” he said. “We continue to believe in the process of negotiations.”

Liquid bulk handling, grain handling and the Oceanex service will not be affected by the strike, the port authority said. Workers will respect a Canada Industrial Relations Board decision from June that said they must maintain service work to Oceanex, which supplies goods to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the strike notice.

This would be the second work stoppage in a month at the Port of Montreal. On July 2, longshoremen walked off the job for 40 hours at two of the port’s 19 terminals.

Story continues below advertisement

Montreal’s port authority said in June it expects a 12-per-cent drop in traffic volumes this year as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. All cruise ship activity has also stopped. The port processed about 17.7 million tonnes of cargo and bulk goods through the first half of 2020, a 9-per-cent drop from the same period last year.

The dock workers have been trying to win a new contract since the last collective agreement expired at the end of 2018, according to the CUPE website. Their efforts have been buoyed by the CIRB decision, which upheld their right to strike as long as some specific services are maintained.

The Maritime Employers Association had argued that the entirety of the dock workers’ labour should be considered an essential service but the federal board disagreed.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies