October 18, 2023 | Circular No. 11585

Dear Member,

Further to CL 11584, please find below a summary of the two user information meetings the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has held since Monday:

  • Negotiations are ongoing and the SLSMC is optimistic regarding a positive outcome. Several days of mediation have also been planned, should these prove to be necessary.
  • The union did not serve strike notice this morning, and the earliest that such notice could now be served is 23h59 tonight (October 18). This means that the earliest a strike could now occur is 23h59 on October 21.
  • The SLSMC confirmed that the possibility of maintaining limited service in the event of a strike is not off the table and is part of the ongoing negotiations.
  • Should a strike occur, there will be an orderly shutdown of navigation, with cut-off times established to allow 14 hours to clear the Welland Canal, 28 hours to clear Montreal Lake Ontario (MLO) downbound and 24 hours to clear MLO upbound. In the event a notice to strike is served by the union, members should contact the Seaway in order to obtain their roster for timely transit of vessels (with details to be worked out on a case-by-case basis).
  • Operational maintenance such as water management and monitoring of extreme weather conditions would not be affected by a strike.
  • The SLSMC has not yet initiated discussions on potentially enacting the Canada Labour Code provisions regarding the ongoing movement of grain in the event of a strike.

The SLSMC will be holding another information meeting tomorrow at 0830 hours.  Please contact Farah Ahmad (fahmad@shipfed.ca) if you have not received the invitation and would like to attend.

We will continue to monitor the situation and revert back to members with additional developments as warranted.


Chris Hall