Montreal contract talks will resume Thursday
Montreal longshoremen and their employers will meet Thursday in an effort to work out a new contract.
S'bastien Goulet, a spokesman for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said that workers, who were locked out of their jobs on Sunday night, had proposed sitting down with employers for intensive negotiations beginning Wednesday at noon, but that employers want to meet on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. along with a federal mediator.
Gilles Corriveau, a spokesman for the Maritime Employers Association, said employers would consider lifting the lockout if the union agreed to end “pressure tactics” such as not working overtime, work slowdowns, and not showing up for work.
Corriveau said numerous ships bound for Montreal are now diverting to Halifax or U.S. ports because of the port closure.
Oceanex Cabot, a containership that normally travels between St. John's, Newfoundland, and Montreal, diverted to Halifax on Tuesday as a result of the lockout, reported the Chronicle Herald in Halifax.
According to Corriveau, longshoremen have said they would not unload the ship, but that the port had obtained an injunction and the ship had been worked.
Hapag-Lloyd, a major carrier between Montreal and Europe, told customers in an announcement on its Web site that “contingency measures will now be developed, we will inform you about details as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile the Montreal Port Authority said it has obtained an injunction that “basically seeks to allow work to continue on infrastructure projects unrelated to the employees of the Maritime Employers Association.” ' Chris Dupin