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Longshoremen’s strike: An extremely worrisome situation for the Quebec and Canadian economies

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Montréal, July 30, 2020 – CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), the CPQ (Conseil du patronat du Québec), CCMM (Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal), FCCQ (Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec) and MEQ (Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec) are extremely concerned about the impact on the economy of the situation that is escalating in the Port of Montreal due to the strike called by the Longshoremen’s Union, CUPE (Local 375) on Monday. By deciding to shut down their activities at the Port, they are taking our economy hostage, especially at a time when the current period is crucial to its successful recovery.
 
Since nearly 90% of eastern North American goods transit through the Port of Montreal, the activities that take place there are fundamental to the survival of many industries and vital to the smooth functioning of logistics chains. It is clear that if the current situation were to continue, it could greatly hamper the efforts of governments, businesses and citizens to recover from the greatest economic crisis in our history.
 
That is why we are calling on all governments to act swiftly to limit the damage that could result from the continuation of this situation.
 
Dan Kelly, President and CEO, CFIB: “Maintaining port operations is essential to the Canadian economy. This labour dispute is likely to have a direct and significant impact on the activities of SMEs, which are already severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and a slow economic recovery. It’s important to ensure that operations return to normal as soon as possible. The last thing we need right now is to disrupt the supply chain across the country.”

Karl Blackburn, President and CEO of the CPQ: “At a time when our economy is already severely weakened and we should be putting all our efforts into creating the winning conditions for a safe and sustainable economic recovery, this conflict is coming at us like a headwind. If the situation persists, a very large number of businesses and workers will be negatively impacted by this disruption in the supply chain.”
 
Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the CCMM affirmed, “The Port of Montreal is an essential strategic asset for the economy of Montréal and its businesses. In a context where the recovery is still fragile, it is imperative that the fluidity of the supply chain be maintained. A renewal of the strike would add to the climate of uncertainty and cause significant damage to the economy. We are asking Canada’s Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, to become personally involved in demanding a return to normal activities as soon as possible.”

Charles Milliard, President and CEO of the FCCQ, had this to say: “The potential impacts of a prolonged labour dispute at the Port of Montreal would be major for the Quebec economy. As the parties seem to be at an impasse at the negotiating table, we insist that the federal government explore the various tools at its disposal to promote a normal return to operations as soon as possible.”
 
Véronique Proulx, MEQ President and CEO, stated, “The Port of Montreal is a hub of our economy, by enabling Quebec manufacturing companies to source and export their supplies. While the pandemic has already greatly affected businesses, the current strike is a further blow that could cause major damage to supply chains and contract fulfillment. The Port must resume normal operations quickly—this is a critical element for ensuring economic recovery.”
 
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Sources:

Wissal El Alaoui, Press Officer
CFIB, C.: 514 817-0228, [email protected]

Nadine Légaré, Senior Advisor – Communications and Media Relations
CPQ, C.: 514 265-5471, [email protected]

Sylvie Paquette, Coordinator, Strategy and Public Affairs
CCMM, Tel: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015, [email protected]

Félix Rhéaume, Senior Director, Communications and External Relations
FCCQ, C.: 514 912-2639, [email protected]

Caroline Robin, Coordinator – Partnership and Membership
MEQ, C.: 514 651-7885, [email protected]