(Montreal) Union members who work for the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation in Ontario and Quebec have voted 99% in favor of a strike if negotiations do not lead to an agreement before October 21.

The Unifor union reports that negotiations on behalf of its members with the employer began last June and continued from September 25 to 29. Both parties decided to call on a conciliator to facilitate discussions from the start of negotiations.

Unifor’s Quebec director, Daniel Cloutier, says workers expect better pay increases, given the current cost of living, and have told the employer it doesn’t have still offered enough to come to an agreement.

The union says Seaway workers manage the transit of more than 200 million tons of goods each year and deserve fair wages for the vital and demanding work they do. The 3,700 kilometer maritime network in which the St. Lawrence Seaway is located extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

Unifor reports that despite the strike vote, negotiations are scheduled to take place next week, October 17-19.