Skip to main content

Windsor Salt suspends negotiations amid alleged assault at mine

An alleged violent assault at Windsor Salt’s Ojibway mine has put a halt to further negotiations with the union, the company says. 

Windsor Salt alleges three people wearing masks and armed with bats unlawfully entered the mine around 12 a.m. Thursday and “brutally ambushed” an employee, striking him repeatedly.

The company confirmed the victim’s injuries are non-life threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Windsor Salt said the incident has been reported to police.

About 250 unionized workers took to the picket lines on Feb. 17 over job security and the contracting out of jobs.

The company said it has remained silent in the face of “mischaracterizations” by the union and others out of respect for the bargaining process. In light of the alleged attack, the company said it is now time “to set the record straight on certain issues.” 

In a statement, Windsor Salt officials said it has never been the company’s intention to eliminate union jobs through subcontracting and has been bargaining in good faith from the start of the process.

“The company's sole goal in bargaining is to operate a safe and competitive business that will continue to provide good, high-paying Union jobs into the future. Until now, the company believed it was making slow but steady progress at the table,” the statement reads.

Unifor responded in an emailed statement to CTV News saying the union is disappointed the company has suspended collective bargaining.

“Unifor is aware of reports of a violent incident involving a Windsor Salt employee. During our lawful strike, the union has maintained a peaceful picket line at the facility for the past ten weeks and unconditionally condemns any form of violence,” the statement reads. Unifor has not been approached by Windsor Police about this incident. The union has full confidence that the Windsor Police will handle the matter appropriately."

"Unifor is disappointed that Windsor Salt has suspended collective bargaining. Unifor calls on Windsor Salt to return to the table to bargain in good faith to achieve a new collective agreement with the 250 members on strike.” 

Bargaining was set to continue between Windsor Salt and the union next week.

Windsor Salt said the company intends to focus on identifying the suspects as well as anyone who acted along with them. The company is offering a $50,000 award for anyone who brings information to the police that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the alleged attackers. Top Stories

Stay Connected