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Seaway Corp., workers reach tentative deal

(Resource News International) — A new tentative agreement has been reached between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC) and 445 unionized employees, an official with the SLSMC said Tuesday.

“Negotiators for both sides were able to reach a deal late Monday evening,” Andrew Bogora, the communications officer for the SLSMC, confirmed.

Details of the new agreement with the employees, represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union, were being withheld pending the ratification of the three-year deal by the employees, Bogora said.

The ratification vote, based on information provided to him, was to take place either later this week or early next week, he said/

“Union representatives will be recommending the employees adopt the new agreement,” he said.

“The good news is that service on the St. Lawrence Seaway will not be interrupted.”

The SLSMC and its workers had been in a position to deliver 72 hour notice of lockou or strike, respectively, last Friday. The workers have been without a contract since April 1.

It’s expected any strike or lockout action would have paralyzed the movement of commodities along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Officials with the CAW were not available for comment.

Grain and oilseed companies, including the Canadian Wheat Board, who routinely ship commodities through the St. Lawrence Seaway system, had been closely monitoring the labour negotiations.

The 3,700-km St. Lawrence Seaway connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is typically open for traffic from late March to late December.

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