Quebec Truckers Vow to Keep Protest Going

November 2, 2000

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Approximately 500 truckers promised to continue protesting unfair labor practices at a mass meeting Wednesday, criticizing the few drivers who continue to haul containers to and from the Port of Montreal.

"They are really bent on keeping on going," said Henri Goulet, a spokesman for the Confederation of National Trade Unions, in an interview with the Journal of Commerce.
Port of Montreal Authority Spokesman Michel Turgeon said 280 trucks carrying containers entered or departed the port on Wednesday, the 10th day of the strike.
That’s a far cry from the normal 1,200 to 1,500 trucks coming and going.
The 500 truckers involved in the picketing are part of 1,200 who have parked their rigs as part of a two-year attempt to unionize and win collective agreements with their companies on wages and working conditions. Owner-operators contracted to 40 trucking companies, and driver-employees of those companies, have mostly shut down container trucking to and from the port in support of the movement.
According to the JoC, the truckers have been observing provincial law and court injunctions keeping them from blocking the port, but they do talk to drivers who are about to enter the port. If a driver refuses to turn around and go back, his rig is plastered with green stickers that say, in French, "Scabbing is criminal."
Goulet said the truckers want to join a 5,500-member union affiliate because "these supposedly independent truckers are really salaried workers."
The dispute is causing some upheaval at various transport firms throughout the area, according to the Montreal Gazette.
At Garfield Container Transport Inc. in Ville St. Pierre, operations have ground to a halt thanks to the protests.
The company specializes in moving containers by truck to and from the Port of New York/New Jersey and Quebec, but since Sunday, none of the 50 to 60 independent truckers the company normally deals with has been showing up.
Garfield general manager Ralph Fishman told the Gazette the truckers he deals with are being intimidated and threatened.

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