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Employers: Montreal dockers behaviour threatens to non-strikers

THE Montreal local of the New York-based International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) have again resumed their recurring dock strikes that have flared in threatening behaviour against non-striking port workers

04 August 2020 - 19:00

THE Montreal local of the New York-based International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) have again resumed their recurring dock strikes that have flared in threatening behaviour against non-striking port workers.

The Maritime Employers Association (MEA) has advised that the s strike will affect only Termont Terminal. MGT Terminals will continue to work normally, reports the American Journal of Transportation.



MEA president Martin Tessier said more than 50 union members attacked port managers and employees as they returned to their vehicles parked at the Olympic Stadium.



'Some had wooden sticks they were banging on the ground. That was clearly intimidation, clearly violence,' Mr Tessier said, reported Newark's Journal of Commerce.



'There is no way that as the president of this association, I will accept at any time, any kind of violence or intimidation - it could be verbally or physically, it is totally unacceptable.'



Local ILA president Martin Lapierre announced the complete stoppage of work on two terminals of the Tremont company from August 3 - 7, because of job security and the jurisdiction of union members' duties.



ILA adviser Michel Murray said the dispute, involving 355 longshoremen, was mainly about the work schedules of longshoremen and said he believed the strike would put pressure on the Maritime Employers Association (MEA).



On Thursday, five employer groups said they were extremely concerned about the impact on the economy from the escalating tensions at the Port of Montreal.



The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 375 want more vacation days, to control its hiring process, and to dictate the size of gangs assigned to work vessels.



Operators of the four Montreal container terminals closed the terminal last Friday to protect its employees after employers accused union members of attacking staff.



Montreal Gateway Terminals, operator of the Racine and Cast facilities, and Termont terminals told customers that it would reopen 'in light of the violent acts against terminal operator employees.'



Neither the CUPE, nor port checkers, as represented by ILA Local 1657, have responded to a request for comment regarding employers' allegations.



Dockers went on strike over pay and work rules after June 8 ruling that they were not considered essential workers as employers had claimed in the Covid scare.



As the case was deliberated, neither labour nor management at the port could shut down operations but that restriction was lifted after the ruling was handed down.



Ships held up are operated by Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, and OOCL. Hapag Lloyd has advised customers of labour trouble at the MGT and Termont Terminals.



'The situation remains fluid and we will keep you updated,' said the Hapag Lloyd.


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