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Planning for the upcoming federal elections was the primary concern for the members of the Lower Great Lakes and Tributaries Port Council of Canada (also known as the Hamilton-Niagara PMC) when it met in Hamilton, Ontario, for its annual dinner meeting on September 28.

PMC President Jim Chalmers welcomed representatives from various locals of the Longshoremen, Operating Engineers, Seafarers of Canada and Teamsters. Each international updated its recent organizing and contracts efforts. Joining the discussion was MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan.

However, the nationwide October 19 election was the hot topic. MTD Eastern Area Executive Board Member Jim Given reminded the delegates about the fight to preserve Canada’s maritime cabotage which is at risk in the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement. Discussion also revolved around the secrecy regarding details of a pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

“We’re not against trade,” Given noted, “but it must be fair trade and benefit workers.”