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FPAC joins mining group in call for feds to end Port of Montreal strike


August 18, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has joined the Mining Association of Canada to call for the federal government to intervene in the ongoing Port of Montreal strike.

The strike started Aug. 10 in response to reduced pay for night shifts and revised routes for ships – both moves by management in response to daytime walkouts over shift work.

In November, the region was hit by a CN Rail strike, followed by rail blockades in February. Between those events, the COVID-19 supply chain disruption and now the strike at Canada’s largest eastern port, the associations say the shipping of forest products, minerals, metal and fuel have all been affected.

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“The Port of Montreal is absolutely critical infrastructure to Canada’s forest products sector. We export hundreds of products globally and receive shipments from abroad every single day,” says Derek Nighbor, president and CEO of FPAC, in a statement.

“We estimate that this disruption has already imposed nearly $1 million US dollars in additional costs and lost sales for our sector in Ontario and Quebec – and this is at a time when we are facing high lumber demand and a struggling pulp and paper sector because of COVID-19. This disruption is challenging our ability to deliver to our customers and keep our people working. We need the federal government to deploy every resource to bring this dispute to resolution.”

On Aug. 17, Labour Minister Filomena Tassi said the government does not currently plan to step in to stop the strike after receiving a letter co-signed by provincial government representatives in Ontario and Quebec.