July 16, 2018 8:17 am
Updated: July 16, 2018 2:20 pm

Unifor members accept new deal with Compass Minerals to end Goderich salt mine strike

The Sifto Salt (Compass Minerals) mine in Goderich, Ontario is shown Monday August 20, 2012.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins
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Workers at the Compass Minerals salt mine in Goderich will be back to work on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Unifor announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the company after talks late last week. On Monday, the union confirmed members voted to accept the collective agreement.

READ MORE: Negotiations to end strike at Goderich, Ont., salt mine to resume Thursday


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“The past 78 days have been hard on our members and our families, but the solidarity and support we have been shown by our town and the hundreds of sisters and brothers in the labour movement has made all the difference,” said Gary Lynch, president of Unifor Local 16-0.

Scott Doherty is the executive assistant to Unifor president Jerry Dias and told 980 CFPL that the last two weeks of bargaining were especially difficult, after the union and its members took a strong stance against “scabs.”

“Unfortunately in the province of Ontario, the legislation allows for scabs to go to work. [We] took a strong stance to say that we weren’t going to let the company utilize the replacement workers,” said Doherty.

“We used our picket line and we blockaded the picket line to ensure that people couldn’t get in. We were able to get the employer to come back to the bargaining table and again our members are fine with the deal that’s in front of them.”

The new three-year deal includes a 2.5 per cent wage increase for 2018 and 2019 and three per cent increase for 2020. The deal also maintains previous pension and benefits.

Three hundred and forty-eight workers at what’s known as the world’s largest salt mine had been off the job since April 27.

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