Saint Lawrence Seaway Workers Threaten Strike

Photo credit: Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Photo credit: Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

ReutersTORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Union workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway, the waterway that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, have given notice of a possible strike, which could start on Friday afternoon, Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, said on Tuesday.

The not-for-profit St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp could not immediately be reached for comment. During another dispute with the same union in 2008, the corporation said a strike could close the Seaway.

Unifor has five locals and 460 members along the waterway, which stretches from Montreal to Lake Erie. All five locals have given 72 hours’ strike notice. The union said the two sides are in talks.

The Seaway has been retrofitting locks to operate automatically, and eliminating staff that run them. Unifor said that is a key contract issue, and it is arguing that some staff should be kept at the locks to respond to emergencies.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Richard Chang)

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