MONTREAL, Aug. 13, 2020 (CNW) -In recent days, longshore workers at the Port of Montreal carried out a series of strike mandates and, on August 10, called an indefinite strike. These pressure tactics are seriously impacting the supply chain in Greater Montreal supply chain and throughout Quebec and Ontario. Both this strike and the pressure tactics used jeopardize the proper functioning of the supply chain, and they pose significant risks to our economy and to maintaining several essential services such as the transportation of food staples and medical products.
Compounding the current situation are the recent difficulties experienced by our supply chain. Think back to the rail blockade at the beginning of the year, which badly hampered the competitiveness and ability of thousands of businesses to run their operations. Now, they are already struggling to focus their efforts on recovery from the pandemic. This instability is a real threat to competitiveness with the large hubs on the U.S. East Coast. This situation jeopardizes the economic sector of logistics and freight transport, which in Greater Montreal alone, accounts for over 70,000 direct jobs, 50,000 indirect jobs and 6,000 businesses. More than 110 million consumers served by our supply chain are experiencing the negative consequences caused by this strike and these pressure tactics.
"This walkout has not only serious economic repercussions, but also environmental repercussions. To meet customer demands, companies must quickly find alternatives to bridge our supply chain's fluidity. Resorting to alternatives to the detriment of our supply chain increases travel times increase, which in turn hikes the cost of transporting goods and considerably increases greenhouse gas emissions," said Mathieu Charbonneau, Executive Director of CargoM.
"As an exporter, our operations are heavily penalized by this strike. In an extremely competitive market in the context of an economic crisis, our leeway is limited. With the rail blockade and the recent strikes, more and more international clients are losing confidence in our supply chain in Canada, in favour of foreign players. We must act immediately to put an end to this situation," said Stéphane Chevigny, President of Groupe Intersand.
As a representative of the Logistics and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montreal and its constituent industries, we are calling for an immediate intervention by the federal authorities to facilitate and accelerate negotiations between the longshore workers and the Maritime Employers Association. The situation cannot continue. Stoppages and slowdowns in services have major impacts in the short, medium and long terms, on all populations in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes, in every sphere of our society's activities.
Created in 2012, CargoM (cargo-montreal.ca-@CargoMtl) brings together the players in Greater Montreal's logistics and freight transport industry, educational institutions, research centres and sector associations around shared objectives in order to increase cohesiveness, competitiveness, growth and reach. The logistics and transportation industry in Greater Montreal represents 120,000 transportation and warehousing jobs, 6,000 businesses and over $4.3 billion in economic benefits for Greater Montreal.
CargoM's activities receive financial support from the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation (MAMH), the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation (MEI) and all its members.
SOURCE Metropolitan Cluster of logistics and transportation in Montreal