Tentative deal reached to end strike at Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway

A tentative deal was struck over the weekend to reopen the St. Lawrence Seaway. This comes after the Canadian federal government instructed the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the striking employees to work out their wage dispute differences. The shutdown impacted all grain traffic along the waterway, which moves more than 6 million tons of cargo each year.

A tentative deal was reached in the strike at Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway, located in the Great Lakes region. Workers at the major Canadian trade route were back at their posts as of 7 a.m. on Monday morning after an eight-day strike.

This comes after the Canadian Federal Government instructed the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the striking employees to work out their differences. Unionized workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada were on strike due to wage disputes. This shut down all grain traffic along the waterway, which moves more than six million tons of cargo each year.

The General Manager of the Chamber of Marine Commerce says the impact of the week-long shutdown could be huge for agriculture.

“Now that the strike has been initiated there’s going to be a massive impact, clearly on the commercial flow of key goods. Grain is critical right now, especially with disruption of global supplies,” said Bruce Barrows.

The strike came during a key harvest season for grain producers and Manitoba’s Keystone Ag Producers Group says farmers depend on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence system for shipping.

“Farmers depend on selling their product in a timely, efficient way,” said KAP General Manager Brenna Mahoney. “By not having the place to do that, or having back-logs and bottle-necks, that prevent farmers from being able to flow their goods — it’s already making a bad situation, globally, worse. There needs to be a negotiation and the workers need to get back to work and get this moving.”

RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney also joined us live on RFD-TV’s Market Day Report on Monday morning to dive into the specifics of the deal reached. According to Haney, union members still need to vote to accept the agreement before the strike is officially over.

The recent strike, the first at St. Lawrence Seaway by workers in 55 years, included 361 union members who operate 13 elevator locks.

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