March 21, 2021 – The Longshoremen’s Union Local 375 held a press conference broadcast on its Facebook page on Sunday, March 21 at 4:00 pm. After a special meeting of its members during the day on March 21 (from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm), at 3:00 pm, 91% of the union local members voted on the Maritime Employers’ Association’s final offer, which was presented to the union on March 12. Of 1,023 total votes, 1,020 members refused the final offer, meaning that 99.71% voted no to the MEA offer. During the press conference, the union cited hours of work, job security, ocean carrier profitability and the need for the “real decision-makers” to be at the table as issues. Michel Murray, the CUPE union representative, said that, “Symbolically, the union also voted today to ask the employer to go back to the negotiation table. We intend to call the mediators this evening and our goal is to go back to the negotiation table to work on a collective agreement.” Murray also commented during the press conference that the union is aware of vessels already being diverted through the Port of Halifax even before the end of the truce and that this to them shows the employer is not playing fair. In a release, the MEA said that it acknowledges the employees’ vote. MEA said it would have preferred a yes vote to the final job offer, but recognizes the will of the union to pursue further negotiations. MEA said it is looking at its options and its priority is to have a decision as soon as possible. Beyond this, MEA said it would not comment further.