Unresolved Labour Dispute at Port of Montreal Causing Widespread Uncertainty Across Supply Chains

With no definitive resolution to labour dispute issues at the Port of Montreal, a climate of uncertainty is causing the shipping industry to divert vessels to provide a minimum of reliability despite the added delays and costs, according to Martin Imbleau, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority.

The potential for escalation will increase the diversions, causing the port to results that pale in comparison with those of its competitors on the U.S. East Coast, who are enjoying significant growth. The tense situation of labour relations at the port significantly affects the reliability of port operations. The reduced scope of scheduled work will generate delays and additional costs for clients.

The labour dispute, which has lasted more than two years, largely revolves around work schedules according to the Longshoremen’s union representative, Michel Murray. At a press conference on Monday, he told reporters that employees want a schedule that better reflects the work and family life balance.

The Port of Montreal handles more than $275 million a day of merchandise. But volume dropped by 11% in March, and its capacity could be reduced to 30%, according to Imbleau.

“I don’t want to be dramatic but it’s delays, costs and further uncertainty which brings additional delays and costs. So basically, it’s the food chain in general that’s being affected.”

Martin Imbleau, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority

Presently, the employees are refusing to work on weekends as well as work overtime. A strike has not yet been called, but many in the industry feel is imminent.

Montreal business leaders are now calling on the federal government to intervene, demanding back-to-work legislation be adopted.

Carson clients are encouraged to reach out early to schedule shipments, as we navigate the uncertainty at the Port. We will continue to monitor the port labour situation daily and share our findings as the situation evolves.

(Source: Global News)