March 20, 2021 marks the seven-month conclusion to the no-strike truce between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing longshoremen, and the Maritime Employers Association.
The strike dispute reaches back to 2018, when the two sides could not agree on a new contract. In 2020, after a 12-day strike in August, both parties agreed to a seven-month labour truce – during which the CUPE would maintain uninterrupted work while union and management worked toward a new collective agreement.
Abstaining from intervening at the onset of the 2020 dispute, the federal government will not likely intercede with the ongoing negotiations. As supply chain operations normalized the effects of the dispute resulted in cargo diverted from the Montreal Port - adding strain to the ports of Halifax and St. John, with effects as far-reaching as Vancouver.
If parties are unable to reach an agreement CUPE members will resume the right to strike. As the March 20th deadline approaches, CUPE members are forward planning, holding 60-day strike votes.
UPDATE: March 2021
After a seven-month truce and a deadline come and gone, the CUPE representing longshoremen voted to reject the collective agreement with 97.7 per cent voting against the recent MEA proposal.
While negotiations are ongoing, both parties have gained the right to strike or lockout.
To follow this unfolding story check out the following news outlet HERE.