Saturday, October 28, 2023
Negotiations Enter Second Day
Yesterday at 10:00 AM (EST) representatives of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) and UNIFOR, the union representing its workers, resumed contract negotiations to end a 5-day old strike. The SLSMC operates Canadian portions of the commercial waterway that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. UNIFOR workers walked off the job last Saturday night at midnight, effectively shutting down the Seaway.
During the last week, there has been a deafening outcry from hundreds of negatively impacted stakeholders. These not only include our ports, but also Canadian ports, vessel operators, elected officials on both sides of the border, farm and agriculture groups, the steel industry, chambers of commerce, manufacturing associations, and others. Media coverage has been extensive. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been personally involved, ensuring that his Canadian counterparts understand the negative impacts occurring in the United States.
Canadian Labour Minister, Seamus O’Regan, brought both sides back to the table yesterday where they negotiated until almost midnight. Peter Simpson, Director General of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, is personally mediating the talks.
While there is no resolution to report yet, talks will resume this morning and are scheduled for tomorrow as well (if necessary). AGLPA will send out updates as we learn more.