Montreal

Commons to sit late on back-to-work legislation for Port of Montreal dockworkers

The House of Commons is set to sit late into the night Wednesday debating legislation to put an end to the strike involving 1,150 dockworkers at the Port of Montreal.

Matter of life and death as essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals stranded, labour minister says

Port of Montreal containers have been stacking up as a result of the strike. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The House of Commons is set to sit late into the night Wednesday debating legislation to put an end to the strike involving 1,150 dockworkers at the Port of Montreal.

Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says the bill is a matter of life and death because the strike has left essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals sitting in shipping containers as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

Operations at the port came to a halt after the dockworkers began a strike Monday morning, causing a complete shutdown at one of Canada's busiest ports, through which millions of tonnes of goods flow each year.

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 2020.

The bill has been panned by opposition parties and the dockworkers' union but Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has said his party will support it because of the potential damage a prolonged strike could cause to Canada's economy.

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