Ferry strike: union members want salary increases

Ferry workers have been on strike since last night. All ferries are stopped in Quebec, Sorel and Matane while services are reduced to L’Isle-aux-Coudres and Tadoussac.

The approximately 150 navigation officers or engineering officers who are members of the United Steelworkers Union walked off the job Friday morning.

In an interview with Radio-Canada, Luc Laberge, responsible for the maritime sector at the United Steelworkers Union, specifies that it is the salary conditions that mainly stumble at the negotiating table. He denounces the use of subcontracting to compensate for the labor shortage.

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Luc Laberge (right) of the Steelworkers union

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Ève ​​Trudel

He also deplores a incredible slowness on the part of the employer party in the negotiations. The union asks the Quebec Treasury Board to give real mandates to the negotiators of the Ferry Company.

Meetings will have to look each other in the eye without being able to move forward on the real issues. There are always limits to letting things drag onwrites the assistant to the Quebec director of the Steelworkers, Nicolas Lapierre.

For its part, the management party reacted by email. There STQ respects the right to strike of its employees, but we find it unfortunate that the employees have resorted to this means of pressure at this time, since the negotiations are continuing, as the negotiation schedule provides.

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Union members picket in front of the Quebec boarding dock.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Ève ​​Trudel

The communications advisor, Bruno Verreault, deplores that the strike penalizes thousands of Quebecers who will travel throughout the territory for the National Day long weekend.

The STQ remains available to continue negotiations and avoid resorting to a strike in the future, but ultimately, it is not the STQ who chooses the means of pressurehe concludes.

The government is hopeful that the parties will reach an agreement. Note that the STQ is a separate employer and is responsible for conducting negotiations with its employeesreacted the Minister of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, by email.

Other strikes to come

Regular services will resume Sunday morning, but they will be suspended again in July while employees of the Société des ferries who are affiliated with the CSN will in turn strike.

The ferry between Quebec and Lévis will be stopped from July 5 to 15, during the Quebec Summer Festival.

Crossings between Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout will strike in two stages. From July 22 to 26 for employees on land, then from July 29 to August 2 for those who work on the ship.

The Steelworkers could also strike again since they have a bank of 10 days of strike remaining.

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