The Syndicat des débardeurs du port de Montréal (Montreal Longshore Workers’ Union) (CUPE 375) has announced that the Maritime Employers’ Association (MEA) left the bargaining table at 6 pm yesterday when the parties were in the midst of their work.
“This proves yet again that the employer is counting on special legislation and not negotiations to settle this dispute. While we were working with the parameters set out by the mediators, the MEA representatives left the table in the presence of the mediators,” said Michel Murray, union representative and negotiator for CUPE 375.
On several occasions, the union has complained that the MEA has stayed away from the bargaining table. The Liberal government is now acting as the employer and legislating the employees back to work, thereby restricting their rights to bargain collectively and strike.
According to CUPE, the employer is largely responsible for the strike at the Port of Montreal. The union offered to withdraw its strike notice if the MEA backed away from its pressure tactics on employees.
“The employer’s attitude is unreasonable, which is exactly what what we have had to contend with in the past two years. The government has chosen to help the employer by passing legislation instead of doing everything possible to have the parties come to an agreement.”
“There’s absolutely no need for back-to-work legislation, because without that threat, the employer would be forced to get down to meaningful negotiations where both parties could come to a quick agreement and reopen the port. The federal government has tipped the scales in favour of the employer with this legislation,” concluded Michel Murray