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Union members at Windsor Salt mine begin job action on Friday

Approximately 250 workers from Windsor Salt’s Ojibway mine, the evaporation plant and office staff hit the picket lines at 12:01 Friday morning.

“This labour dispute is about job security and job protection and the company’s unilateral concessions to contract out our jobs to third party and non-unionized workers,” said Bill Wark, president of Unifor Local 1959.

Wark said Windsor Salt has been absent from the bargaining table for about eight days with no meetings currently scheduled.

“We can’t have our members sitting at home being laid off while other people are in the workplace doing their jobs,” he said.

When Dylan Meloche joined Windsor Salt three years ago, he thought he landed his forever job.

“Three years in, look where we’re at,” he told CTV News Windsor.

Meloche is in Windsor Salt’s mining department, and he has seen contract workers brought in by the company.

“If we don’t take a stand now it’s gonna affect me every three years for the rest of my time here,” he said.

Their contract expired Wednesday.

The uncertainty has the 23-year old and his girlfriend holding off from buying a home.

“I don’t feel as secure here. I don’t feel the job is as safe as it used to be and really, that’s just the wrong direction,” he said.

Kevin McDonald is at the other end of the career spectrum, but understands what the younger workers face. He was 25-years-old when the company last went on strike in 1990.

“It was a long strike,” he recalled. “It was a tough strike.”

He saw families struggle to stand up to contract work among other issues.

“We gotta stand strong and believe in what’s going on here today,” McDonald said. “The younger generation — if we don’t fix it today, they’re gonna be in trouble down the road.”

Windsor Salt issued a statement on Friday.


“Windsor Salt has been negotiating in good faith the renewal of collective bargaining agreements for our Windsor evaporated salt plant and Ojibway salt mine. Unfortunately, at midnight this morning, our union employees at these sites walked out on strike. We remain committed to negotiating agreements that are competitive, fair to both our employees and our company, and will help position our company for long-term growth in the Windsor community,” said the statement. Top Stories

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