St. Lawrence Seaway workers issue strike notice

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Ship in St. Lawrence Seaway

MONTREAL-Unifor members working for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation are ready to strike as of midnight on Saturday, October 21, 2023, which would effectively shut down transit through the Seaway. This drastic decision follows the issuance of a 72-hour strike warning to the employer, underscoring the depth of dissatisfaction and the imperative for a swift resolution to the ongoing disputes.

“Employers have seen that workers will absolutely use their right to strike when they feel it’s necessary, and our members in all units at the Seaway have had enough,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “It’s time to come to the table with a serious wage offer or the employer can watch what happens when workers stand together and demand their fair share.”

Unifor members at Locals 4211, 4212 and 4323 in Ontario and Locals 4319 and 4320 in Quebec have all delivered strong strike mandates. Members in the supervisory and engineering group of workers in Locals 4211 and 4319 rejected a tentative agreement on August 1, 2023 and have aligned their plans with the maintenance, operations and administrative unit that recently voted 99% to strike.

“This employer has shown no willingness to address the workers’ concerns in the workplace or approach them with a respectful wage offer,” said Daniel Cloutier, Unifor Quebec Director. “A strike is always a tool of last resort when it comes to negotiations, but these workers have been clear and are united in their goals – they’re ready.”

Negotiations will continue today through October 19 in an attempt to reach a deal, or workers will set up picket lines at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2023.  

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries in English, contact: Unifor National Communications Representative
Shelley Amyotte at @email or 902-717-7491.

For media inquiries in French, contact: Unifor Quebec Communications Representative Véronique Figliuzzi at @email.

Media Contact

Véronique Figliuzzi

Communications Representative - Québec

Shelley Amyotte

National Communications Representative - Atlantic Region