Montreal Dockworkers Schedule a Partial Strike; Threaten Congestion

Dockworkers from Montreal instate a partial strike on major Canadian ports on Wednesday, April 14, 2020. The strike has resulted in delayed shipment and loomed to increase congestion at the time of rising freighting costs and setbacks. As per reports, the port capacity dropped by 30%. 

Dockers working at Canada’s most crucial port will be working on regular shifts, i.e., for five days a week, and they have further refused to work on weekends. They reached this decision after the Montreal Employers Association stated that it would implement its power to lock out the workers, followed by contract interventions. 

The reduction in the working hours followed a series of interchanging strikes by Montreal’s dockworkers in 2020. It took about three months for the port to get back to normal working after last year’s strike. About six organizations have tried reaching out to the Canadian President, Justin Trudeau, and requested him to arbitrate and clarify that such strikes won’t be entertained.

This incident tends to add another obstruction to the shipping industry globally that is already finding it difficult to move goods without high costs and delays. Container carriers are having a hard time with increased traffic at ports. There is expected to be high congestion with 83 container ships in line. 

Small and medium-sized businesses rely on shipping that moves via Montreal, which serves into Canada’s highly populated regions. The dockworkers are handling 1.6 million vessels and holding 35 million metric tons of goods and products there. 

If the statements are to be considered, dockers are asking for a better work-life balance. They earn approximately C$120,000 – C$125,000 annually after working for 19 days out of 21 and substitute weekends off. According to the Statistics, this is double the average annual income of C$47,100 in the Quebec territory. 

Manufacturers have now commenced redirecting ships to the Halifax port. This redirection is additionally costing them nearly 1 million Canadian dollars, which is enormous.