About Us / About MEA

Missions and mandates of the mea

The Maritime Employers Association (MEA) has for mission to represent all maritime stakeholders in the Ports of Montréal, Trois-Rivières/Bécancour, Hamilton and Toronto. It negotiates and administers the collective agreements of its members which includes ship owners and/or ship operators and/or ship agents and stevedoring companies.

Its mission also involves recruiting, training, deploying labour and playing an advisory role regarding occupational health and safety for the benefit of port terminal operators.


The MEA is a strategic partner providing a skilled and productive labour force working safely within a culture of excellence for the benefit of Canada’s Maritime trade.


All decisions made or actions taken by the MEA involve the notions of security, respect, creativity and rigour.


The association was created in 1969 to better manage labour relations between the shipping companies and port labour in Eastern Canada that unload and load ships. Since the arrivals and departures of ships do not follow a regular time schedule, the longshoremen and checkers deployed by the MEA must work on changing time schedules for different employers. To maintain a bank of qualified and available employees throughout the year, the shipping industry needed an entity to be established and act on its behalf with its workers.

In fact, the MEA was appointed the companies’ representative by using the port workforce for the handling of goods in accordance with section 34 of the Canadian Labour Code.