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Montra006c, Wednesday, March 6, 2002 - The least that can be said of the passage of the Senate Committee Report concerning security at the Port of Montreal is that it lacked rigour. This is the opinion of the Port of Montra006c’s Longshoremen’s Union, which also deplores the alarmist headlines in certain newspapers last weekend.

The Union points out that the report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence referred to figures which were advanced by the RCMP and the SPCUM almost two years ago in a television news report in which an RCMP officer quoted from a 1996 report issued by Canada Customs. In October 2000, when called on to explain, neither the RCMP nor the SPCUM were able to support these allegations. To claim, as is being done today, that 15% of the longshoremen have extensive police records requires some serious explanations.

For Jacques Giroux, Union president, there is no question of allowing the propagation of doubt about security at the port and the professionalism of the longshoremen. “If the police have accusations to make, they should make them, but they should have the decency to stop indiscriminately pointing fingers without having any proof”, stated the longshore workers’ union representative. He also criticized the fact that the Senate Committee Report does not mention that, “for the past 20 years and probably longer, no longshoreman has been convicted of any illegal act whatsoever concerning activities at the Port”.

The Port of Montra006c Longshoremen’s Union is affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which also represents longshoremen at the Ports of Qub0065c, Trois-Rivir0065s, Sorel and Matane. CUPE is also active in several other sectors, including health and social services, universities, education, urban and air transport, government corporations and public agencies in Qub0065c, hydroelectricity and the municipalities. With close to 100,000 members, CUPE is the largest FTQ affiliate.

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SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (FTQ)