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Montreal port to resume cargo activity after government strike intervention

Container and bulk terminals at the Port of Montreal will open for business Monday at 7 A.M. after the Canadian government forced an end to a strike by longshoremen, but it could take several days to work through freight backlogs and longer to resume normal operations, the port authority said. 

About 10 vessels are scheduled to enter the Port of Montreal and nearly 20,000 TEUs of container volume were trapped on port property when the work stoppage began, officials said in a statement Saturday.

Importers and exporters are being cautioned to expect delays in the coming weeks until terminal operators can restore ship and truck service to normal levels.

The Canadian Parliament on Friday, concerned about damage to the Canadian economy and supply chain disruptions, passed legislation prohibiting further strikes until dockworkers reach an agreement with maritime employers. 

The longshoremen began their strike last Monday at Canada’s second-busiest commercial port following a deterioration in contract negotiations.

The longshoremen have been without a contract since late 2018. While the details of the contract talks haven’t been made public, union officials have said the key sticking points include working conditions and work-life balance, pointing to schedules that can require longshoremen to work 19 out of 21 days at times.

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Port of Montreal strike end nears after lawmakers OK back-to-work legislation

Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at