Montreal

Striking Old Port workers disrupt citizenship ceremony

An outdoor citizenship ceremony in Montreal was disrupted earlier today by striking Old Port workers demanding higher wages.

Old Port workers have been on strike since May 27

Talks between the striking workers and the Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal broke down again in recent days. (Gabrielle Fahmy/CBC)

An outdoor citizenship ceremony in Montreal was disrupted earlier today by striking Old Port workers demanding higher wages.

An oath-taking ceremony for new Canadians is traditionally held on Canada Day near Place Jacques-Cartier, among the most popular destinations in the Old Port.

About 100 striking workers gathered Friday morning as the ceremony got underway, honking horns. After about an hour, they started marching along de la Commune Street.

The union representing the Old Port workers was upset the federal government went ahead with the citizenship ceremony despite the work stoppage.

But the demonstration also irked several business owners in the area, who said it drove away customers. One merchant could be overheard yelling at a protest organizer. 

Old Port attractions closed

Around 280 workers — including box office clerks, maintenance workers and parking attendants — have been on strike since May 27. Their principal demand is increasing their minimum hourly wage to $15 an hour.  

Talks between the union and the Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal, which is run by the Canada Lands Company, broke down again in recent days.

The strike has forced the Port d'Escale Marina, Clock Tower Beach and the Science Centre to shut their doors. 

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