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Two Montreal locals representing office workers in the Port of Montreal have walked off the job to press for protection in the face of new technology that threatens their jobs.

The workers, members of CUPE 4315 and 4317, work for two companies owned by the CP Ship division of Canadian Pacific. Despite the common owner, the work conditions and compensation offered by the two firms vary widely.

We cannot tolerate these differences, says Claude Lacroix, president of CUPE 4315. Its clearly a case of discrimination against a class of workers.

With the introduction of a new computer system, work of the bargaining unit is being threatened as managers assume duties that had been done by clerical staff. The employer then wants to reduce the pay and benefits for new hires.

Workers should be able to perform these duties without losing the protection of their union contract, says Lacroix. Our employers have left us with no option but to disrupt the operations of the port.