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Tentative Agreement Reached in St. Lawrence Seaway Strike

After a week long workers strike, it has been announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between Unifor and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation during mediated negotiations. We will continue to follow this developing story.

Below are comments on the deal from Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director at the Soy Transportation Coalition:

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and UNIFOR announced it reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, October 29th, ending a week-long strike that closed the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway for international imports and exports.  The agreement will need to be ratified by union members in the upcoming days.  Specific details of the agreement are currently being shared with union membership.  Beginning at 7 am (Eastern) this morning, workers returned to operate and serve the thirteen locks that have been closed.  The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway has now been reopened for international imports and exports. 

Statement by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation: https://greatlakes-seaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/SLSMC_Press_Release_231029_Resolution_EN.pdf

Statement by Unifor: https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/unifor-reaches-tentative-agreement-st-lawrence-seaway-0

We are pleased the strike was short-lived.  Supply chains are a two-way street.  Those who provide and operate supply chain options – like the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway – request and expect predictability and reliability from shippers regarding the expected usage of the supply chain option.  On the other hand, shippers – including agricultural exporters – rightfully expect the supply chain to be a predictable and reliable option if they are expected to utilize it.  Whenever a strike or slowdown occurs, that predictability and reliability are called into question.  During this time of supply chain challenges and uncertainty, we are pleased the two parties arrived at an agreement so that the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway can be a viable option for the U.S. soybean industry to meet the needs of our international customers.

You can learn more about this news sotry by reading the story from DTN/Progressive Farmer’s Mary Kennedy here:

https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/columns/cash-market-moves/article/2023/10/30/st-lawrence-seaway-strike-ends

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