Looming strike at Canadian Salt could disrupt Maritime’s winter supply

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Three miners underground looking down a dark tunnel at a truck operating on the wall of a mine.

August 12, 2021

PUGWASH—Canadian Salt’s refusal to negotiate a fair collective agreement with Unifor Local 823 could force a strike at a major road salt supplier in the Maritimes.

“Unifor members at Canadian Salt are a vital part of the success of the company, and the next collective agreement must reflect that,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We encourage the company to find a path to a fair agreement before the union is forced to escalate.”

The 150 workers at Canadian Salt, owned by the American corporation Stone Canyon (Nasdaq: STNE), are in a legal strike position. The current collective agreement expired in October 2020 and negotiations have been ongoing but have recently reached an impasse.

The latest offer from the company will be voted on August 26, but the Local 823 bargaining committee will not be recommending ratification.

“We are prepared to bargain around the clock but the company must be a willing partner in negotiations,” said Mark Sheffar, president of Unifor Local 823. “Our members are prepared to take the next step to increase pressure on Canadian Salt to make a fair offer.”

Media reports show that many jurisdictions are already preparing to source alternative suppliers for road salt.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at @email or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Photo credit Derrick Midwinter