MEA’s industrial relations team represents the interests of its members with organizations such as the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canada Industrial Relations Board and other administrative tribunals.

In accordance with Section 34 of the Canada Labour Code, MEA’s industrial relations team negotiates all the collective agreements for its employees.

Industrial relations advisors also offer an advisory service for the interpretation and application of the collective agreements. They are available for members to settle potential conflicts and interpret the clauses of the signed agreements.

The team manages grievances and links member companies, attorneys as well as any person involved directly or indirectly in a file.

Worker health and safety is the top priority for MEA. Indeed, MEA understands the importance of a true culture of health and safety. MEA’s health and safety team coordinates all health and safety practices with member companies. It also trains, in collaboration with the Montreal Harbour Training Center, informs and advises the people concerned on the legislation in force.

A critical resource

As the maritime transportation industry is under federal regulation, several ministries and organizations impose various principles and policies. MEA workplace health and safety advisors act as a resource and link between members in applying and implementing appropriate prevention policies to promote employee health and safety.

Through the expertise, involvement and sustained efforts of the various stakeholders in the joint committees that it leads and attends, the workplace health and safety team researches, develops and designs tools and methods to advance and develop safe practices on the terminals.

One of MEA’s responsibilities is the daily deployment of the workforce on the entire territory of the ports of Montréal, Contrecœur, Trois-Rivières and Bécancour.

Daily deployment is a complex operation. Not only must MEA provide the workforce on the various terminals with tight timeframes, but the deployment must at all times comply with the many rules of the three collective agreements of the various unions. Estimating the arrival of ships and the workforce required to load and unload depends on several factors, particularly the weather; forecasting is therefore a balancing act.

A computer system is used to manage labour requests and obtain daily deployments. The team of deployment clerks and dispatchers works closely with members to meet labour needs and assigns up to 1,700 workers daily.

At the ports of Hamilton and Toronto, request management and workforce deployment are carried out directly between member companies and the three different unions.

MEA administration is made up of four departments—Finance, IT, Human Resources and Public Affairs and Communications.

The Finance and Human Resources teams are the drivers behind MEA. Whether it is paying all port employees in the ports we serve or diligently administering the NPO’s budget, the finance team is comprised of professionals with an in-depth knowledge of our industry.

IT is a valuable resource for MEA, because this department governs the usual systems and the entire deployment, a delicate and complex operation. The IT team’s expertise has allowed MEA to move forward with an enormous system modernization initiative to better meet the needs of members and make everyone’s work easier.

The public affairs and communications team establishes links externally and with employees. Whether developing relationships with our partners and stakeholders or improving internal communications with employees, this team is responsible for using various methods to achieve MEA’s business objectives.