Port of Montreal rejects offer from dockworkers union to call off strike


The union representing dockworkers at the Port of Montreal says it has offered to end its strike, but the Maritime Employers Association has refused to cancel its decision to reduce worker wage conditions.

The local of the Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP), affiliated with the FTQ, has said the strike action, which includes an overtime strike and a weekend strike last weekend, is in retaliation against wage cuts by the employer, who decided to cease remuneration for hours not worked.

But the MEA said it made the reduction because of a reduction in tonnage, which it attributed to uncertainty created by negotiations.

SCFP adviser Michel Murray said his union has proven itself open to talks. “We told them: Lift your lockout notice, and the response we gave with a partial strike, we’re ready to lift that.”

Both parties agree there was a reduction in tonnage, but do not agree on its amount, its effects or its causes.

Mediation continues between the two parties, with three mediators on the file. The employer said it is still waiting for a response to an offer it tabled April 15, but Murray said the union has already said that counter-offer was not acceptable, since it was based on an offer already rejected by 99 per cent of dockworkers in a secret ballot.