At 8 p.m. on July 22, the union for the Port of Montreal longshoremen (Syndicat des débardeurs du port de Montréal) obtained an agreement to put an end to the lockout. After a day of intense negotiations, CUPE Local 375 has signed a back-to-work protocol with the Maritime Employers Association (MEA). The 900 longshoremen were kept out of work by their employer since July 19.
The agreement was submitted for approval to members in a special general meeting today and the back-to-work protocol was adopted by the union members at 11:30 a.m. The agreement provides for the resumption of work on Saturday, July 24, at 8 a.m.
Both parties will resume bargaining on Monday. To facilitate bargaining, they have agreed to a suspension of all means of pressure (from both sides) until September 3. With mutual consent, this could be extended by 45 more days.
“We are very pleased to have convinced the MEA to cease lockout. The crisis resulting from the paralysis of the port is over. Once we have our members’ approval, we can move to the next step: intensively negotiating a new collective agreement starting on Monday,” said Daniel Tremblay, president of CUPE 375.
The longshoremen of the Montreal harbour, CUPE 375 members, are without a contract since December 31, 2008. CUPE is the largest union in the dockworking industry in Quebec. The longshoremen at ports of Montreal, Quebec, Matane, Contrecœur, Sorel-Tracy, Trois-Rivières, and Bécancour are all affiliated to CUPE. CUPE is the largest affiliate of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).