MONTREAL — More than 1,000 dockworkers at the Port of Montreal began a strike Monday morning — a move that the port authority says will mean a total shutdown of all port operations.
The Montreal Port Authority says the strike began effective at 7 a.m. ET.
The workers, who have been without a contract since December 2018, have been on an overtime strike since April 17 and have refused to work weekends since April 18.
The strike follows comments Sunday by federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi who said Ottawa has filed notice that it will table back-to-work legislation in the coming days if an agreement is not reached.
Tassi said the government would prefer not to intervene but may have no choice given what she called the significant and potentially long-lasting harm to the economy caused by a work stoppage.
The Port of Montreal saw a dip in activity as early as last month, as customers sought other ports to export and import from ahead of the strike.
Several employers groups have raised concerns about the impact of the strike on business.
“The Port of Montreal is critical to the economic well-being of Canadians across the country, particularly those in Quebec and Eastern Canada,” said Tassi in a statement on Twitter.
“The government must act when all other efforts have been exhausted and a work stoppage is causing significant economic harm to Canadians.”
Another work stoppage took place last year in August, when the union representing the dock workers enacted a 10-day strike.