Business calls for immediate re-opening of Port of Montreal

A coalition of associations representing thousands of Canadian businesses and their millions of employees are calling on the federal government to immediately intervene in the labour conflict at the Port of Montreal to end the dispute so that normal business operations resume immediately.

0 July 26, 2010

sudden and unexpected closure of the Port of Montreal last Monday is
having a wide and negative impact on business across North America,”
says Jayson Myers, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers &
Exporters. “This work stoppage threatens to derail the fragile North
American economic recovery by shutting down manufacturing plants in both
Canada and the United States within days.”

shipping is a critical link in Canadian businesses’ global supply
chains and as Canada’s second largest port by volume, the Port of
Montreal is a key gateway for both imports and exports of goods traded
between North America and the world. Redirecting shipments to other
ports is simply not practical as it disrupts supply chains, delays
shipments and leads to added costs, penalties for missed delivery
schedules and loss of future business to competitors. Moreover, it does
not help with essential shipments currently being held in Montreal.

to Hon. Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce, “the disruption at the Port of Montreal has serious
implications for businesses large and small across Canada. We urge both
parties to work together to resume services immediately.”

that the port is open to traffic is critical to preserving Canada’s
reputation as a reliable North American gateway. Past labour disputes at
other North American ports have demonstrated that even the perception
that a port is unreliable due to labour problems can have a long lasting
negative impact.

impact will not only be felt at Canadian facilities, but auto
manufacturing plants will be closed across Canada and the United States
as a result of the port closure. This will cause a significant ripple
effect throughout the integrated automotive supply chain right across
North America, with significant negative economic consequences,” states
Mark Nantais, President of Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association.

potential impact on small and agri-business cannot be overstated,” adds
Dan Kelly, Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs of the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business. “Delays can significantly affect the
availability of products available at smaller retailers and, in turn,
their ability to retain staff. Coming out of a recession, a port closure
could affect the very viability of small exporters or farmers.”

operations will also be significantly negatively impacted due to the
amount of imports entering North America through Montreal and shipped to
stores across Canada and into the United States. Delays in reopening
will impact the availability of a wide variety of goods that consumers
purchase every day at retail outlets.

The coalition of association endorsing this statement includes:

Aerospace Industry Association of Canada
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Fertilizer Institute
Canadian Foundry Association
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Canadian Steel Producers Association
Canadian Tooling & Machining Association
Canadian Transportation Equipment Association
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association
Electro-Federation Canada
Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
I.E. Canada, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
Forest Products Association of Canada
Spirits Canada / Association of Canadian Distillers
Trillium Medical Technology Association

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