More than 400 striking truck-drivers gathered at the Palais des Congres in Montreal late last week to vent their anger at the provincial government, accusing it of trying to stop their attempts at a union-negotiated labor agreement.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the truckers are defying a law adopted by the National Assembly on Thursday designed to stop a nearly two-week-old protest that is causing containers to pile up at the Montreal ports.
The protestors got the support of leaders of several other Confederation of National Trade Unions affiliates who were holding assemblies.
A trucker who is not part of the protests was shot at in the east end of the city. The driver had just picked up a container of merchandise from CAST, one of the approximately 40 companies operating out of the Port of Montreal that are contesting requests for accreditation by the CNTU and who are the targets of the strike. He was slightly injured, reported the Gazette.
Premier Lucien Bouchard accused union leaders and striking truckers of intimidating drivers who want to respect the law and return to work. And in a statement issued Saturday, Transport Minister Guy Chevrette denounced the "intimidation that certain truckers have faced by choosing to work under the law.”
Chevrette reassured truckers that they can return to work in total safety if they choose to do so.
After a record-breaking year for truck manufacturing in 2018, global truck maker Daimler Trucks expects to see some moderation in overall economic growth in the U.S. through the second half of the year, along with a corresponding normalization in commercial vehicle sales figures.