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Montreal longshoremen vote for strike mandate

Roughly 1,100 longshoremen at Canada's second largest port are looking to improve working conditions.


MONTREAL – Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal have voted nearly unanimously for a strike mandate to be used at any time during ongoing contract negotiations with their employers.

Union spokesman Michel Murray said 99.49% of voting members recently gave their union the power to call a strike at the second-largest port in the country.

Murray says he is not optimistic regarding the state of negotiations between his union and the Maritime Employers Association, a group that includes ship owners, operators, agents and longshoring companies.

He says the roughly 1,100 longshoremen at the port are looking to improve working conditions, including changing schedules that require members to work 19 days out of 21.

Murray adds that longshoremen work under strict rules, face habitual disciplinary measures and are suspended frequently.

A spokesman for the employers’ association says negotiations are going well and its members are surprised by the union’s statements.

Yves Comeau says the objective of the association is to conclude a good deal for both sides.

 

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