The most recent information that FMA has received indicates that the outcome of the union vote on the MEA’s “final offer” expected on Sunday, March 21, remains uncertain.

As we have indicated in previous messages, the “truce” agreement, negotiated last summer expires on Sunday, March 21 at 0659 hours. The union meeting on Sunday will be to discuss and vote on the MEA offer. The union reports that the port terminals will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate the union meeting.

It is not certain that a “no” vote on the MEA offer would result in an immediate strike vote. However, should a strike be called during the day on Sunday, March 21, it is a requirement of the Canada Labour Code that an advance notice of 72 hours must be given. This would imply that the earliest that a strike would start would be sometime on Wednesday, March 24.

The other unknown at this point is the decision of the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on the MEA complaint of “bad faith negotiations” on the part of the union. The decision has still not been posted on the CIRB website. As the union is continuing with its Sunday meeting and vote on the MEA offer, this would imply that the CIRB decision has not blocked any legal course of action by the union.

As FMA repeatedly states to the government, even the threat of a strike or lockout leads to supply chain disruptions as shippers attempt to reroute traffic, which can cause disruptions to other locations and significant additional costs to shippers.

We will keep the FMA membership apprised as new information becomes available. Also, letters from individual companies stating the damage to their operations, their customers, and suppliers, will be important in ensuring the government is aware of the damage that this labour dispute is causing.

FMA strongly recommends that member companies reach out to the Labour Minister, other Cabinet Ministers, and to MPs in ridings where their facilities are located.

Please feel free to use any wording from the FMA letter that can be found at the link below.

Here are the email addresses of the Labour Minister and other suggested Cabinet Ministers.

  • Hon. Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour:
  • Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister:;
  • Oliver Duchesne, PM staff member:;
  • Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources:;
  • Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport:;
  • Hon. Francois-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry:;
  • Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs:

FMA Feb. 22 Letter to Minister of Labour