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Monday, June 17, 2024

St. Lawrence Seaway shut down as staff go on strike Categorical Occasions

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MONTREAL — The St. Lawrence Seaway has shut down as a whole lot of staff walked off the job Sunday.

The halt is predicted to have an effect on cargo shipments instantly alongside the artery that runs between Montreal and Lake Erie.

In a launch shortly after midnight on Sunday, the union mentioned they had been unable to succeed in an settlement with the employer by the strike deadline, regardless of negotiations “proper as much as the final second.”

“We can not permit staff’ rights to be compromised. We stay open to dialogue and hope that the employer will rethink its place for the great of all,” mentioned Daniel Cloutier, Unifor’s Quebec director, in a launch.

The union mentioned this week that it remained “1,000 nautical miles aside” from administration on wages — the important thing wedge in discussions — and that it was as much as the employer to keep away from any transit disruption.

“These are jobs that require intense coaching, a excessive stage of understanding of the well being and security dangers, and that carry huge accountability for the wellbeing of seafarers and their cargo. They’re irreplaceable,” Cloutier mentioned in an earlier launch.

In its personal assertion launched after midnight, the St. Lawrence Seaway Administration Company mentioned the events are at an deadlock as Unifor “continues to insist on wage will increase impressed by automotive-type negotiations,” and the Seaway will stay shut down till an settlement may be reached.

“The stakes are excessive, and we’re absolutely devoted to discovering a decision that serves the of the Company and its workers,” said SLSMC president and CEO Terence Bowles.

“In these economically and geopolitically essential occasions, it will be significant that the Seaway stays a dependable transportation route for the environment friendly motion of important cargoes.”

The SLSMC had mentioned Friday it remained dedicated to negotiating in good religion, however mentioned progress had been gradual and that the union’s wage calls for might result in increased tolls.

On Wednesday it cited the potential impression on freight shipments as a serious concern.

“Cargo actions by means of the seaway are an vital a part of the North American economic system and provide chain,” mentioned spokesman Jean Aubry-Morin.

“Particularly, this labour motion would impression grain actions throughout a interval when the world is in dire want of this important commodity, at the same time as provide has been affected by the state of affairs in Ukraine and the larger frequency of utmost climate occasions being skilled all over the world.”

The company mentioned it’s ready for a response to its utility to the Canada Industrial Relations Board, in search of an order to substantiate the appliance of the Canada Labour Code associated to the motion of grain throughout a strike.

It mentioned a shutdown of the system happened throughout the 72-hour discover interval permitting vessels to soundly clear the Seaway system, and the SLSMC is in common contact with the marine trade. There are at present no vessels ready to exit the system, however there are over 100 outdoors the system which are impacted by the state of affairs, the assertion learn.

Some 360 staff starting from engineers to directors comprise the 5 union locals who had been in negotiations with the administration authority till Saturday evening.

Talks started in June with the assistance of a federal mediator, and continued after Unifor issued a 72-hour strike discover to the employer on Wednesday.

Final yr, some $16.7 billion price of cargo — almost half of it grain and iron ore — traversed the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals and channels that stretches greater than 300 kilometres.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 22, 2023.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press


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