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Strike Along St. Lawrence Seaway Ends As Deal Reached With Union

A strike along the St. Lawrence Seaway that had disrupted trade flows between the U.S. and Canada has ended with a tentative labour deal being reached with unionized workers.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. says that ships carrying goods between the U.S. and Canada through the Great Lakes will begin moving today (Oct. 30) after Unifor tentatively accepted a new collective agreement.

The new labour pact, which must still be ratified by Unifor’s membership, ends a strike that began on Oct. 22 and involved more than 350 workers.

Details of the settlement were not made public, but Unifor had been fighting for higher wages to help its union members keep up with the rising cost of living.

The Ontario and Quebec governments, along with several business groups, had called on Ottawa to intervene if federally mediated talks failed to bring a quick end to the strike.

In 2022, $16.7 billion worth of cargo — nearly half of it grain and iron ore — traveled through the St. Lawrence Seaway, a canal system that stretches more than 300 kilometres.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says that the St. Lawrence Seaway supports 66,000 jobs indirectly and is responsible for $34 million a day in economic activity.