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Workers at Canada’s second-largest port reject deal, sparking strike fears

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Unionized dockworkers at Canada’s second-largest port on Sunday rejected an offer from management, a union representative said, raising fears in the industry of another strike after crippling work stoppages in 2020.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees of Quebec, which represents the dockers, said the workers want to return to the negotiating table. An overwhelming majority of 99.71% of unionized workers rejected the offer, the spokeswoman said.

CUPE negotiated a contract with the Maritime Employers Association for 1,125 longshoremen at the Port of Montreal, after their agreement expired in 2018.

Sunday marks the end of a seven-month truce agreed to by both parties that gave a reprieve to shippers hit hard last summer by the strike.

The workers did not formally call for a strike. CUPE said working hours were one of the main issues in the talks. The Montreal Port Authority said in a recent statement that the 19-day work stoppage in the summer of 2020 cost wholesalers $ 600 million in sales over a two-month period, according to Statistics Canada. .

The authority warned that future shutdowns could lead to delays in the supply chain and higher transportation costs “just as the economic recovery and a wider reopening of the retail sector” in the provinces. of Quebec and Ontario are being set up.



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