A plea from a number of business associations on Monday for the Canadian Federal Government of Justin Trudeau to intervene in the escalating industrial dispute at Montreal Port was rebuffed by ministers later that day.
A group of associations led by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal had asked Canada’s Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, to help find a resolution to the dispute.
However, Tassi issued a statement rejecting the idea, saying she had “Faith in the collective bargaining process”, while government led mediation teams were attempting to mediate in the dispute would not impose a settlement.
Tassi said, “Our mediation team from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has met with both parties on many occasions since 11 December 2018 and continues to be present and available on the ground.”
The minister said that Transport Minister Marc Garneau and the Ministry of Labour had “reached out” to the parties involved and the government expects them to focus their efforts on reaching an agreement.
However, Tassi stopped short of saying the Government would intervene to impose a settlement. “Our government’s clear expectation is for both parties to work together to resolve their differences quickly. We will be monitoring the situation closely and looking into how to support the ongoing mediation efforts.”
She concluded that a negotiated settlement is in the best interests of the port and all the stakeholders so that “normal functions can return at the Port”. While any delays in reaching a negotiated settlement are “disappointing and harmful to both the local and national economies”.