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Press release

Montreal Port Authority deplores the conflict between the Maritime Employers Association and the Longshoremen Union resulting in major impacts on businesses and the public

 Montreal, August 7, 2020 — The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is very concerned, especially during this pandemic and time of economic crisis, about the serious impacts resulting from the strike episodes by dockworkers at the Port of Montreal, including the indefinite general notice that the Longshoremen Union, CUPE Local 375, sent to the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) this morning.

This 72 hours’ advance notice is for an indefinite general strike that will start on Monday, August 10 at 7 a.m., resulting in the suspension of berthage services normally provided by longshoremen/longshorewomen and the handling of goods in the Port of Montreal terminals. The following will not be affected by this situation: liquid bulk handling, the Oceanex service (Bickerdike Terminal) and the grain terminal (Viterra). The Montreal Port Authority invites clients to contact the various terminal operators or check online to find out more about their situation. 

The MPA is very concerned about these work stoppages affecting public health and safety during a global pandemic, as port operations are essential to keep the economy running smoothly and to supply food and other essential products. A prolonged stoppage in port operations has major repercussions for Canadian businesses that depend on international trade and, ultimately, for the supply of goods and services to the public.  

Large impact 

This indefinite strike, staring Monday morning, is the fourth work stoppage by dockworkers at the Port of Montreal since July 2, 2020.  

A strike with no time limit will aggravate the impact already hitting the Port of Montreal, which is the driving force behind an ecosystem of 6,300 transport businesses and the source of 19,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

With delays lasting several months for all port operations and Greater Montreal’s supply chain, which serves Quebec, Ontario and the U.S. Midwest, the work stoppages, past and future, more specifically cause the following effects: 

  • Create long delays in handling goods for Canadian companies, especially exporters (as of Monday, no handling of containerized goods and dry bulk, except for the Oceanex service and grain);
  • Oblige many export companies to lease warehouses or choose a different supply chain, if they are unable to move their goods internationally out of the Port of Montreal;
  • Force international shipping lines to reroute certain vessels, sometimes to competing U.S. ports, resulting in higher costs for businesses and, ultimately, consumers.  

The MPA fervently hopes that this labour dispute will be resolved and that the federal government continues to intervene and do everything necessary to help the parties reach an agreement, as soon as possible.


About the Port of Montreal

Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is the second largest port in Canada and a diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods: containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. The only container port in Quebec, it is a destination port served by the largest shipping lines in the world. It is also an intermodal hub with a service offering that is unique in North America, featuring its own rail network directly dockside connected to Canada’s two national rail networks. The MPA also operates a Cruise Terminal and a Port Centre.

The MPA factors economic, social and environmental components into its corporate initiatives. This commitment is governed by a sustainable development policy whose guiding principles focus on involvement, cooperation and accountability. Port activity supports 19,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in economic benefits annually.


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