As the negotiation process is currently suspended and the truce between the dockworkers’ union CUPE 375 and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) draws to a close, and in the context of an unprecedented pandemic that the Canadian economy must continue to face, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) hopes that the parties will quickly reach an agreement to avoid a new work stoppage by the dockworkers. Already, the Port of Montreal’s user companies and clients are feeling the impacts. Nearly a month before the end of the truce between the employer and the union, scheduled for March 21 at 6:59 a.m., the MPA has found that several Quebec and Ontario businesses that use the Port of Montreal, including some that move critical cargo to combat COVID-19, are already diverting containerized goods to other ports, and that others are planning to do so if a new work stoppage occurs soon. This situation, similar to the 19-day work stoppage during the summer of 2020 when dozens of companies publicly disclosed the impacts on their operations, could cause major delays in the supply chain and higher freight costs, right as the economic recovery and a broader reopening of the retail sector in Quebec and Ontario get under way.
Major economic and logistics impacts for Quebec and Ontario businesses that use the Port of Montreal, February 17, 2021, www.ajot.com