A possible strike by the non unionized employees represented by UNIFOR (Canada’s largest private sector union) that had been set for just past noon Friday has been extended through the weekend.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) was served with a 72-hour notice to strike by UNIFOR on October 28, 2014. UNIFOR represents the Seaway’s 460 unionized employees and was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
The SLSMC is currently in the process of implementing a modernization program which incorporates Hands Free Mooring and Remote Lock Operation. This program is essential to ensuring that the Seaway can operate on a basis that is both safe and sustainable. Contrary to union allegations, the SLSMC is confident that it will continue to process ships through its locks in a safe and secure manner.
Despite UNIFOR’s strike notice, the SLSMC remains committed to obtaining a fair settlement, and will continue to bargain in good faith with the assistance of a federally appointed mediator.
As a result of UNIFOR’s strike notification, SLSMC has started implementing its detailed plans for an orderly and safe shutdown of the system within the 72-hour notice period.
Canadian seaway officials have said if the union goes on strike traffic on the system will be shut down.
Talks will continue through the weekend under a media blackout as long as parties remain engaged in the process.
RCL Agencies Inc will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available .