A tentative agreement between nearly 500 Canadian Auto Workers and Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway Management was reached early Monday morning, averting a strike that would have shut down traffic between ports Montreal to Duluth
The strike planned for noon Monday was avoided after the union workers agreed to three new three-year contracts with SLSM, said union spokesperson Shannon Devine. Key issues in the dispute related to changes sought by the SLSMC on work rules and technology replacing workers
Seaway traffic that from the late March opening of the 2011 shipping season through August grew 3.5 percent year-over year, to 22 million metric tons. Grain shipments from Canada and the United States led the increase in the period, traditionally one of the slowest of the year.
The strike also would have shut down project cargo shipments to the ports of Duluth, Minn., and Thunder Bay, Ontario. The ports, at the head of the Great Lakes, handle giant blades, turbines and other equipment from Europe destined for wind farms being built in the U.S. Midwest and western Canada.
Seaway-Atlantic business also passes through the Port of Montreal, as do transshipments from hubs in the Atlantic and at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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