Longshore workers at the Quebec Port will mark the unhappy six-month anniversary on the picket line at noon today, where they will be sounding an alarm six times.

The Société des arrimeurs de Québec (SAQ) locked out its 80 longshore workers on September 15, 2022. Since then, the employer has turned to replacement workers, which has been a major impediment to settling negotiations.

“Although we are in the sixth month of this conflict, negotiations have been moving at a snail’s pace at the bargaining table, as the employer wants to have other workers do the jobs of longshore workers, which completely distorts the power balance,” said Nina Laflamme, a union representative for CUPE 2614, the union representing Quebec longshore workers.

The union members’ demands are clear. “We want to improve the longshore workers’ life-work balance. It’s one of the last trades where workers are unable to plan anything, because each day, they receive a phone call advising them of the shift they must work the following day, and they can’t take leave for several weeks during the summer. This must change for their successors,” says Stéphan Arsenault, president of CUPE 2614.