The Canada Industrial Relations Board has agreed with Newfoundland and Labrador that a disruption in the flow of goods to the province through the Port of Montreal could adversely affect the health and safety of the province’s people.
Thus, in the event of a work stoppage at the Port of Montreal, a level of service to the province must be maintained. The board has scheduled a hearing to be held Sept. 17 to determine the level of service deemed essential.
The Port of Montreal — Canada's second largest port — was closed for about five days in July after 900 longshoremen were locked out during a contract dispute with their employer. They returned to work after reaching a truce.
“When it became apparent that a work stoppage was imminent at the Port of Montreal earlier this summer, our government took the issue very seriously and clearly stated that any disruption at this port could have very serious consequences for the people of this province,” the province’s Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson said in a news release.
“I am very pleased that the board has agreed with our position and is now looking to determine what level of service should be deemed necessary.”
In appearing before the board last Friday, Hedderson had asked the board to designate the shipment of goods to Newfoundland and Labrador via the Port of Montreal as an essential service.