Montreal Dock Workers Reach Agreement to End Port Strike

Parties agreed to a truce as worries rose about the walkout’s impact on Canada’s economy

A tugboat helped a cargo ship dock at the Port of Montreal, Canada’s main maritime gateway for trade with Europe.

Photo: Valerian Mazataud/Bloomberg News

香蕉视频苹果下载TORONTO—Striking dockworkers at the Port of Montreal reached an agreement Friday to end an 11-day-old strike that had shut Canada’s second-busiest port.

The longshore workers’ union at the Port of Montreal said its workers agreed to a truce with the Maritime Employers Association, which represents shipping companies at the port.

The agreement ends a standoff that had caused shipping companies to reroute cargo to other ports in Canada and the U.S. The truce will last until March 2021, a representative from the employer group said.

Discussions over the workers’ demands will continue as work resumes. The longshore workers’ union has been pressing for better scheduling, arguing that workers who are asked to be on call for 19 out of every 21 days have no work-life balance. They have been working without a contract since the end of 2018.

Montreal’s port handles more than US$75 billion of merchandise a year. It is second to Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canadian container imports, according to Piers, a data service of IHS Markit, and is the country’s main maritime gateway for trade with Europe.

The forestry industry was particularly worried about the impact of an extended port closure. A lumber shortage has caused prices for the commodity to climb, and lumber companies that are already scrambling were having trouble getting supplies and equipment, said Joel Neuheimer, vice president of international trade and transportation for the Forest Products Association of Canada.

香蕉视频苹果下载“The industry is trying to catch up with demand, and it’s having trouble sourcing materials it needs to recover,” he said.

The stoppage also could have hurt the auto sector, food processors and mining companies, said government officials for the provinces of Quebec and Ontario who wrote a letter asking the federal government to intervene.

Despite calls for government intervention, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberal Party declined to pass back-to-work legislation to force a deal, although it sent mediators to help move the talks along.

Write to Vipal Monga at vipal.monga@wsj.com

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