Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

500 days lock -out at the port of Quebec

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The longshoremen at the port of Quebec have been locked out since the 15th September 2022.(Archive photo)

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Saturday marks the 500th day of lockout for dock workers at the port of Quebec. However, according to the spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees for the National Capital, Nina Laflamme, an agreement between the two parties “has never been closer.”

The port continued its activities normally, because the employer, the Stevedoring Company, resorted to replacement workers, a situation denounced by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Unfortunately, we are not the first to suffer from the absence of such a law, but we hope to be among the last. Using replacement workers is unacceptable, irresponsible and deplorable! “It needlessly prolongs conflicts and it’s morally intolerable in our province,” said Nina Laflamme, CUPE union advisor.

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Nina Laflamme in front of the picket line at the entrance to the port of Quebec. (File photo)

In November 2023, the anti-scab bill was introduced in Ottawa, but it has still not been adopted.

This legislative proposal aims to prohibit the use of replacement workers during strikes or lockouts. It will apply to areas regulated by the federal government: air, port, rail and banking sectors, telecommunications, etc.

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By tabling this bill, the Liberals are responding to a request provided for in their agreement with the New Democrats.

However, longshoremen do not think they will benefit from this bill. Instead, they want to find common ground in the short term.

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< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">We hope it will go much faster than that: we are quite close to a settlement. We just hope that the employer comes to the table once and for all with a mandate to finalize this.

A quote from Nina Laflamme, spokesperson for the longshoremen

Nina Laflamme is convinced that one or two days of productive discussions could end the lockout.

The conflict has been going on since September 15, 2022 and affects 81 workers, but discussions are mainly over working hours.

It' is essentially the question of working hours and compulsory overtime that people no longer want to have to do for obvious reasons of work-family balance, recalls Nina Laflamme.

With the collaboration of Louis-Simon Lapointe

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