‘Progress’ seen in salt mine talks
GODERICH — There are hopeful signs the Goderich salt mine strike could end soon as the two sides resumed talks Friday.
The company and union issued a joint statement late Thursday, saying, “Unifor and Compass Minerals returned to the bargaining table today and progress was made.”
The release said the two sides had agreed to resume bargaining at 9 a.m. yesterday
Unifor Local 16-0 president Gary Lynch said the two sides bargained Thursday until about 9 p.m.
About 350 mine workers have been on strike since April 27.
On Friday the union held the latest in a series of rallies.
The hastily organized rally at Harbour Park drew hundreds of Unifor members, including some from across the province, and supportive local residents.
One Unifor member at the rally said the Goderich strike is a big test for Canadian labour. “If (Compass) got away with this at the mine, it would be a framework for corporations to smash unions across the country,” said the member, who declined to be named.
The strike hit a crucial point last week when strikers barricaded the mine’s only entrance to stop replacement workers entering or leaving. The blockade was removed as a condition of talks resuming.
Compass Minerals said it made the union an offer that included wage increases and benefit improvements.
The union maintained the company is demanding concessions such as mandatory overtime, reduced benefits and a weakening of contracting-out provisions.