Port of Montreal workers on strike as Ottawa threatens to intervene

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Port of Montreal workers on strike as Ottawa threatens to intervene

More than 1,100 dock workers at the Port of Montreal have walked off the job in a strike that began Monday morning. 

The workers have been without a contract for more than two years and the union workers’ employer, the Maritime Employers Association, extended the workday without consulting them.

A negotiation between mediators is scheduled for later this morning, though, even as the federal government has indicated it wants to rush through legislation to get workers back on the job.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle Sunday night.

He said small companies will suffer during a strike because they won’t get the goods they need.

A notice paper published on Sunday indicates that Labour Minister Filomena Tassi could, as early as Wednesday, table a bill aimed at ending the labour dispute.

The contents of the bill have not been made public, and it is not clear if it will resemble conventional back-to-work legislation.

The notice paper gives the government the option of tabling legislation quickly and bypassing several of the usual legislative steps.

“Putting forward this notice is our government’s least-favoured option. We believe in the collective bargaining process,” Tassi said in a string of tweets on Sunday.

“However, the government must act when all other efforts have been exhausted and a work stoppage is causing significant economic harm to Canadians.”



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