The Montreal Longshore Workers Union (CUPE 375) announced Thursday evening that it will challenge the special legislation if it is passed. This back-to-work legislation will be reviewed Friday in the Senate.
“We have been invited to make our case before the Senate tomorrow. We will review the entire situation to show that there is no need for this legislation and that it restricts the right of employees to bargain collectively and strike,” pointed out Michel Murray, union representative and spokesman for CUPE 375.
“Last night, the government brought in legislation to force striking union members back to work. It brought out its heavy artillery and used it on workers, while the employer could have easily avoided the strike had it backed down from its two pressure tactics against our members.”
Several unions in the country and even some beyond our borders have denounced the use of this type of legislation, which undermines fundamental rights protected by the Constitution.
“This is a very sad day for workers across the country. We will contest the bill before the courts, and we have already filed a complaint with the International Labour Organization,” added Murray.
Murray has also urged the Maritime Employers’ Association, Labour Minister Filomena Tassi and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to guarantee that the return to work imposed by the legislation will take place under the same conditions that prevailed on April 9, i.e., before the employer imposed its pressure tactics.
With close to 122,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents the Syndicat des débardeurs du port de Montréal and longshore workers at ports in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Sorel, Matane, and longshore workers with Arrimage du Saint-Laurent (Baie-Comeau), for a total of some 1545 members. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: social affairs, communications, education, universities, energy, municipalities, Crown Corporations and public organizations, air and land transportation and the mixed sector. It is the largest union affiliated with the FTQ.