Old Port of Montreal employees vote in favour of strike

WATCH ABOVE: Montreal's Old Port employees voted in favour of a strike mandate Friday evening and walkouts could begin as early as Tuesday.

MONTREAL – Some 200 unionized employees at Montreal’s Old Port voted in favour of a strike mandate Friday evening.

The  Syndicat des Employés du Vieux-Port de Montréal (SEVPM), the union representing the workers, and the Canada Lands Company are in negotiations to renew collective agreements.

Salaries are said to be at the heart of the dispute. The union is demanding that entry-level wages be increased from the $10.67 an hour to $15. Management was offering a two per cent salary hike.

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According to SEVPM president, Konrad Lamour, a large majority of affected employees, such as ticket agents, educators at the Science Centre, maintenance workers, parking attendants and security agents voted in favour of the strike mandate.

The union said that 47 per cent of its members make less than $15 an hour and that they just want to be paid the same as others who do the same type of work at other tourist attractions in the city, including the Olympic Stadium, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum or at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

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Employees have been without a contract  since March 31, 2016and negotiations began if February.

Strike action could begin as early as Tuesday.