Montreal businesses feel pinch as Old Port strike continues

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Montreal Old Port strikes continue
WATCH ABOVE: Businesses in Montreal's Old Port are feeling the pinch as federal workers continue striking. Global's Billy Shields reports – Jun 8, 2016

MONTREAL — There was only one person working at O’Quai Bistro in Montreal’s Old Port Wednesday morning – the owner, Adam Harvey, who was wiping off tables.

READ MORE: Old Port of Montreal employees vote in favour of strike

Harvey’s restaurant, located inside the Montreal Science Centre, typically has about 20 waiters, managers and other employees.

Adam Harvey is hoping to negotiate a way to keep his restaurant open, despite strikes in Montreal’s Old Port, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Billy Shields/Global News

Nine days ago, he had to send them all home when 279 federal employees in the Old Port walked off the job to protest a wage dispute.

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Harvey’s restaurant is just one of about a dozen in the Science Centre that has been closed because of the strike.

“I already had one employee who [quit] because he told me that he needed to work,” he said.

Wage dispute

The union representing the workers said it wanted entry-level wages to jump by almost 30 per cent to $15 an hour.

READ MORE: Montreal couple finds new wedding venue after Science Centre cancels big day

Meanwhile, the port is pushing for a 9.5 per cent salary hike across the board over four years.

“The Old Port of Montreal has made a really good offer,” said Jimmy Laforge, a spokesperson for the agency that manages the port.

WATCH BELOW: Old Port strike leaves couple’s wedding plans in shambles
Click to play video: 'Old Port strike leaves couple’s wedding plans in shambles'
Old Port strike leaves couple’s wedding plans in shambles

Recently, a Montreal couple had to find a new location for their wedding, after being informed by the Science Centre that it would no longer be able to host the big event.

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READ MORE: Old Port strike forces cancellation of Montreal couple’s dream wedding

Other major tourist draws have also shut their doors as a result of the strike: the Imax Theatre, Port d’Escale Marina and the Clock Tower Beach.

So far, Harvey estimates his restaurant has lost $25,000 because of the strike.

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