About Us / The Departments
The Industrial Relations department is mandated to represent the employers’ interests when appearing before the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), and other administrative tribunals. It is also the industrial relations team that negotiates all collective agreements for the Ports of Montreal, Trois-Rivières/Bécancour, Hamilton and Toronto.
The department is also qualified to offer any assistance in the interpretation and application of various collective agreements. A team of industrial relations advisors is available to members at all times to resolve potential conflicts and interpret the clauses of the signed agreements.
The Industrial Relations handles all grievances. When a grievance is filed, a process is set in motion which will end in either a negotiated agreement or a hearing before an arbitrator. The department acts as a link between the member company, legal counsel and all other people involved in the related file.
Health and Safety
The MEA recognizes that occupational health and safety at work is more than a priority, it is a value which transcends throughout the longshoring operations activities at the Port of Montreal.
The mandate of the MEA’s Health and Safety Department is not only to coordinate all health and safety procedures with member companies but also to train, with the collaboration of the Training Centre, inform and advise the concerned parties on the legislation that is in force. In addition, it acts as a resource service and relationships between members in the application and implementation of prevention policies to promote health and safety among employees.
The Health and Safety department presides over joint safety committees and, with the assistance of experts in the field, who participate in these committees, investigates, develops and establishes tools and methods to promote a constant evolution of safety practices and ensures that health and safety becomes an essential part of longshoring operations.
The shipping industry falls under federal jurisdiction and a number of ministries and organizations are involved in establishing legislation, policies and principles for the industry, such as Human Resources Social Development Canada, as well as, Transports Canada – Maritime Safety and Security. On the other hand, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) is the organization that deals with workers’ compensation for employees who are victims of accidents at work.
Since it is an undeniable fact that safety is inherent to the profitability of any company, the MEA knows the importance of establishing definite health and safety procedures and in raising the awareness of employees in order to offer a safe and secure working environment.
Labour Force and Dispatch
The Maritime Employers Association is responsible for the daily dispatch of manpower to employers involved in longshoring operations throughout the Ports of Montreal, Trois-Rivières/Becancour. The dispatch department must ensure that it always abides by the rules and regulations contained in the collective agreements that are in force.
In Montreal, the daily dispatch of manpower is entirely automated. A computerized system allows the MEA to manage the orders for manpower and obtain, on a daily basis, the results of the dispatch in less than 15 minutes. At the Port of Trois-Rivières/Becancour, the regular procedure for the dispatch of manpower is partially automated; the Dispatch Centre is in support when needed.
At the Ports of Toronto and Hamilton, the orders for and the dispatch of manpower are done directly between the companies and the various unions.