Thursday, 22 July 2010

Lock-out shuts box terminals at Montreal

No containers have been unloaded at the Candian port of Montreal after terminal managers ordered a lock-out of workers in response to a dispute over working hours and wages.

Port landlord the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), which claimed a neutral stance, said that since the lock-out, not a single container had been loaded or unloaded and called for a swift resolution to the dispute.

It said: “All the port’s marine activities stopped following the lock-out. Furthermore, rail operations and truck traffic were halted when picket lines went up. Consequently, no container has entered or left the port since Monday morning.”

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) called for an immediate return to negotiations by the employers’ association, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA).

The ITF said that on 27 June, the MEA changed the working conditions of 169 dockers with the least seniority.

In response, the longshoremen refused to work overtime from 9 July, prompting the lock-out.

Frank Leys, Dockers’ Section Secretary of the ITF, said: “A solution to the dispute at the port was within everyone’s reach. This lock-out risks kicking it over the horizon and out of sight.”

“We’d remind the employers’ association that overtime is voluntary and not providing it is not a reason to be shut out of your job.

“Renegotiation of an existing agreement – which is what this is all about – isn’t done by barring the doors on those affected.

“Negotiation is the only way forward. The union is willing. It’s up to the employers to rescind this pointless ban and resume talks.”

The MEA said: “Considering existing market conditions, the MEA can no longer accept such a large gap between the amount of hours worked and paid for by longshoremen and the amount of hours not worked but fully paid for.

“MEA’s management team believes that while this is not a desirable outcome, it had no other choice but to order a lock-out, given that pressure tactics had begun to impede port operations.”

The two parties have agreed to begin negotiations, with the help of a federal mediator, tomorrow.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/index/lock-out-shuts-box-terminals-at-montreal/20017794525.htm;jsessionid=AA2733369AC7213E75A3EF42DFFEB126.5d25bd3d240cca6cbbee6afc8c3b5655190f397f

13 comments:

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This comment has been removed by the author.
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