Truckers striking in the Port of Montreal are promising to stand strong despite a Canada Industrial Relations Board ruling that seriously hampers their attempts to get union representation, the Confederation of National Trade Unions said Wednesday.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the CIRB rejected 33 of the 51 requests for accreditation made by the CNTU-affiliated Syndicat National du Transport Routier in January 1999 and June 2000. The remaining requests are still under consideration.
Guy Lalonde, CIRB spokesman, told the paper that the board found the union failed to prove they represent a majority of the truckers who work for the companies named in the accreditation requests.
CNTU president Marc Laviolette said the union would be giving the board more information about the truckers it wants to represent in hopes that their decisions will change.
About 900 truckers who work for companies that do most of their business through the Port of Montreal have been on strike since Oct. 22. Company drivers and owner-operators alike have signed CNTU cards.
They want their employers to negotiate an industry-wide collective agreement with the SNTR that would deal with salaries, pensions, health plans and other issues, but the employers have refused to recognize the union as the truckers' bargaining agent.
Quebec’s provincial government passed back-to-work legislation last week that levies stiff fines on truckers and union officials for each day the strike continues. And according to the trucking companies they work for, many truckers also stand to lose their jobs if they don’t return to work.
Continuing high demand for Class 8 trucks prompted Kenworth to begin an expansion of its assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, and executives on April 24 wielded celebratory shovels to toss some symbolic dirt.