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Ontario Salt-Mine Workers Strike Against Mandatory Overtime

May 8, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

GODERICH, Ontario—About 350 workers at the Compass Minerals salt mine went on strike Apr. 27 after they failed to reach a contract deal with the mine’s U.S.-based owners. According to Unifor Local 16-O, the company proposed cutting pension benefits, increasing the use of outside contractors, and demanding 12-hour shifts with a mandatory four hours of overtime. “We took a strike back in 2006 to get rid of mandatory overtime,” Unifor national representative Glenn Sonier told the Goderich Signal Star. “The strike is the result of them not addressing the key issues of ours. More so, it was them not willing to budge off their concessionary type proposals.” Compass also announced in February that it was going to lay off 48 workers. Local 16-O is requiring each member to put in a least a one-day shift or one eight-hour night shift of picketing each week during the strike, and on May 2, three busloads of supporters from nearby unions joined them. The mine, 1,800 feet under Lake Huron, is the largest underground salt mine in the world, according to Compass, which acquired it in 1990. It has operated since 1959. Read more

May 8, 2018

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