• ITVI.USA
    15,493.230
    -192.560
    -1.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.807
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.560
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,477.520
    -195.870
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,493.230
    -192.560
    -1.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.807
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.560
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,477.520
    -195.870
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American ShipperShipping

St. Lawrence Seaway strike avoided

Agreement to go to arbitration suspends the right to strike or lockout at St. Lawrence Seaway through 2018.

   The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) said it and the Canadian union UNIFOR agreed on Sunday evening to refer “certain important issues to binding arbitration,” avoiding a possible strike that could have shutdown the waterway.
   SLSMC, which manages the Canadian portion of the waterway, said the agreement also suspends the right to strike or lockout, ensuring that
shippers will benefit from uninterrupted navigation until
March 31, 2018.  
   “We have been meeting night and day the past week to reach a deal,
and came to the conclusion that arbitration was the best way to resolve
remaining issues,” Unifor National Representative Joel Fournier said.

   The union said details of the issues sent to arbitration and the complete contract
will be revealed with the decision of the arbitrator. It said both sides expect
to meet with the arbitrator as soon as possible to resolve this matter.

   More than 450 members of Unifor work along the St. Lawrence Seaway. A major concern is the SLSMC’s plan to install automatic mooring systems in to secure ships as they move through seaway locks.
   In addition to concerns about lost jobs, Unifor has raised safety concerns about mooring equipment.
   Andrew Bogora, a spokesman for the SLSMC, said the agency would not provide any direct comment on the arbitration matter. He said modernization of the locks would proceed, but that there would be some ancillary matters related to automated mooring that will be considered by the arbitrator.

   Last week, Bogora said 100 workers would be affected by the use of the automatic mooring system, but that some will be given new job opportunities such as equipment maintenance. Of the 67 jobs that will be eliminated, he said seaway officials believe that most, if not all, can be phased out through normal worker attrition over the five years it will take to install the machinery.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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