International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1657 start indefinite strike today

After two separate strikes of four days each, Local 1657 of the International Longshoremen’s Association (Checkers) gave notice of a Port-wide strike to their employer, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), on Friday, August 7th that would begin today at 15h00 for an undetermined period of time.

The Checkers' continued concerns are:

- Scheduling (working 27 of 28 days);

- Working multiple shifts within the work week;

- The advancement of technology in an effort to eliminate their functions and duties.

According to a recent press release, "despite what has been reported in the media, the MEA has not negotiated with the ILA Local 1657 (Checkers) since June 5, 2020. At that time, the Union’s negotiating team had provided a counter proposal to the MEA in which the Union has yet to receive a response

from the MEA’s negotiating representatives. The Union has requested on two separate occasions through the Federally appointed mediator to return to the negotiating table and they have categorically refused. The MEA is not negotiating justly with all of the Union’s under their jurisdiction. Each container has a specific place on a ship depending on the loading plan. It’s the 150+ men and women Checkers who provide instructions to the Longshoreman and co-ordinate the movement of all containers that come in or out of the various Port Terminals by means of trucks, trains, and ships. The Checkers are an integral part of the functioning for the Port of Montreal."

They have not had a contract since December 2018.

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