The Maritime Employers Association at the Montreal Port has failed in its attempt to have all longshoring activities designated as essential services.
“Of course, we are very pleased, because we have regained our collective bargaining rights, after the MEA asked the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to require that all of the longshoring activities be maintained, even in the event of a strike,” explained CUPE union representative Michel Murray.
The CIRB ruling stated that the employers failed to prove that a strike by longshore workers would pose an imminent and serious threat to the health and safety of the public. This also serves as a reminder of a vitally important principle – the right to strike is protected by the Labour Code and the Supreme Court of Canada has decreed that this right enjoys constitutional protection.
The 1125 longshore workers of CUPE 375 at the Montreal Port, who are members of CUPE, voted in favour of strike action in December 2018.
“These hearings on essential services were the longest in Canada’s history. Given their historical nature, the local received unconditional support from CUPE’s national organization. We now want to get back to the basics – negotiations. We want to update our contract,” said Michel Murray.