51 Viterra workers locked out at the Port of Montreal

Negotiations stalled on wages, scheduling issues: CUPE

Viterra — one of the main grain marketer/handlers at the Port of Montreal — sent a lockout notice to 51 operators who were negotiating for the same working conditions as the vast majority of Port of Montreal workers.

The lockout began on Jan. 30 at 7 a.m., said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“These operators handle the loading and unloading of grain. They simply wanted equity with the other Port employees. It’s a very specialized workplace, and the request to be paid for time and a half in the evenings and double-time at night is perfectly legitimate,” said Eric Sinclair, president of CUPE 5317.

The parties were in mediation and had a meeting scheduled for Feb. 8. Negotiations were stalled on the issues of wages and scheduling, according to the union.

With nearly 115,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents the Longshoremen’s Union of the Port of Montreal, as well as the longshoremen at the ports of Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Sorel, and Matane, and the Arrimage du Saint-Laurent longshoremen (Baie-Comeau), for a total of 1,242 members.

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