At noon today, the Société des arrimeurs de Québec locked out 81 longshore workers at the Port de Québec, slowing down an important part of the local economy.

On August 30, longshore workers at the Port de Québec voted 98.5% in favour of pressure tactics up to and including strike action and have resorted to some of them in the time since to move along the discussions at the bargaining table.

“It’s really terrible that the employer is capable of showing our members the door while we’re still at the bargaining table. Not only is the employer harming the local economy by slowing down the stowage service at the port, they are also undermining the international image of our city, as we are right in the middle of the cruise season. We still believe that the solution to our differences can be worked out at the bargaining table,” said CUPE union representative Dominic Cordeau.

The parties have been in talks since June 2022. Discussions have bogged down over the work schedule. The employer is sticking with their demand to have 12-hour work shifts. The members are refusing, because they want to safeguard life-work balance, an important issue to them. As is the case everywhere, there are staff shortages at the Port de Québec, and the employer insists on having longshore workers bear the brunt of this situation.

“Diminishing the quality of working conditions is no way to attract new workers, and the members are mobilized on this issue,” said Cordeau.

Meetings between the parties have been scheduled for October. The Port de Québec is the oldest in the country and plays a major role in the local economy.