Ottawa tables bill to make Port of Montreal strike illegal

Liberals ban dockworker strike, calling it a risk to Canadians despite an "essential services" deal between CUPE and the employer to ensure any goods for the health and safety of Canadians are unloaded.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

MONTREAL — Federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi has tabled a bill to put an end to the strike involving 1,150 dockworkers at the Port of Montreal.

The move drew a strong reaction from the head of the Quebec branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Marc Ranger, who called the bill an affront to all workers in the country.

Tassi's bill would force the unionized workers back on the job, and it will be debated later today in the House of Commons.

Workers at the port have been without a contract since December 2018 and started to refuse overtime and weekend work earlier this month. The union previously held a 10-day strike in August.

Tassi has said the federal government must prevent the strike because of its potential to cause long-lasting effects to the Canadian economy. However, CUPE representatives say an essential services agreement has been negotiated with the port to ensure any goods required for the health and safety of Canadians are unloaded despite any strike.


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