Members of Local 4211 in Ontario and Local 4319 in Quebec who work for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation have rejected the tentative agreement presented to them at a July 12 meeting.
“The members of Locals 4211 and 4319 have spoken, and I know that the bargaining committee is determined to obtain a good agreement for these workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “We know the job isn’t done until the membership approves the deal.”
Negotiations got under way on June 21 in St. Catharines, Ontario. During the second week of bargaining, the parties decided to apply for conciliation in order to facilitate the contract talks.
After two weeks of intensive negotiations, the parties reached an agreement in principle that was rejected by a majority of Local 4211 and Local 4319 members.
The union has already contacted the conciliator to inform him of the outcome of the vote and to express the union’s desire to resume talks with management.
The employees of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation ensure that the world’s longest deep-draft navigation system remains accessible to ships. Employees in the engineering, maintenance and operational groups maintain and upgrade the system’s structures in order to provide maximum reliability for users. This network of locks, bridges and canals stretches over 3,700 kilometres and provides access to more than 100 ports and commercial wharves on the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States. Every year, more than 160 million metric tonnes of cargo are transported on the system.
Unifor remains committed to defending the rights and interests of its members and will continue to work hard to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to its members.
Unifor is the largest private-sector union in Quebec and Canada, with more than 315,000 members in all sectors of the economy. Unifor works on behalf of all workers and their rights. It is also actively engaged in the fight for equality and social justice both at home and abroad, and aspires to ensure a better future by bringing about progressive change. In Quebec, Unifor represents close to 55,000 members and is affiliated with the province’s largest labour federation, the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL).