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Workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway have ratified collective agreements that raise wages by 13 per cent over three years.

The approvals by 360 Unifor members who work for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. follow an eight-day strike that closed the shipping route between Montreal and Lake Erie.

The workers are covered by two collective agreements with similar terms. The supervisors and engineers voted 87 per cent in favour, while workers in maintenance, operations and offices voted 85 per cent for the deal. The employees will receive yearly raises of 5 per cent, 4 per cent and 4 per cent, in addition to a $2,000 signing bonus.

The strike by workers who operate 13 of the 15 locks on the system ended Sunday night. The stoppage halted more than 100 ships with cargoes of grain, road salt, steel products and other goods.

Marine traffic resumed Monday morning, as vessel operators and customers worked to deliver and stockpile goods before the system closes for winter in late December. It will reopen in March, depending on ice conditions.

The seaway operator said in a statement that it has been working to maximize the number of ships that can traverse the system to clear the backlog.

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