April 15, 2021 – The Longshoremen’s Union Local 375 posted a release from its Quais Express publication on its Facebook page on April 14. The release was titled, “Meeting with Federal Mediators and Half-Truths from the Port of Montreal.” Highlights from the release, authored by President Martin LaPierre, provide the union’s perspective on recent events:
• At 2 pm on April 13, union representatives met with the three federal mediators appointed by the Minister of Labour.
• The meeting was called at the request of the federal mediators to discuss the state of negotiations.
• The MEA has not yet made itself available for further negotiations despite claiming it is still ready and available to negotiate.
• The union has asked the federal mediators to call the parties back to the table for further negotiations and is waiting for a response from mediators on this point.
• In response to the MEA’s claim that the Port of Montreal’s March traffic volume dropped by 11% due to uncertainty around labour negotiations and the diversion of traffic to other ports, the union claims that the total drop in volumes is 5.07% and that the 11% figure actually refers to a drop in petroleum/liquid bulk, which is a direct consequence of the pandemic. The union also stated that longshoremen from local 375 are never involved in the handling of liquid bulk at the Port of Montreal.
• The union planned to meet again yesterday. Members were told to continue with their work as scheduled and await further communication from the local.
Yesterday evening, the MEA notified Canaan Transport that the mediators have summoned both parties back to the table to negotiate today.