Mining & Smelting

Unifor represents over 9,900 members working in mining and smelting. The sector includes non-petroleum mining, such as potash, as well as aluminum and non-ferrous smelting operations. Today, half of Unifor members in the sector work in Québec and B.C. for the global giant Rio Tinto. Around 1500 work for potash companies in Saskatchewan and another 1000 members work for Xstrata in Sudbury. Workers in a number of smaller mines make up the rest of the membership.

More bargaining dates set for April in Windsor Salt dispute

The bargaining committee for Unifor Locals 1959 and 240 will meet again with the employer at Windsor Salt for four days the week of April 3, 2023.

The parties met during March 22 and 23 to seek a resolution to the dispute, which began on February 17, 2023 when the two locals began legal job action. Unifor Assistant to the National Officers Tim Mitchell reports that there has been some progress but contracting out and job security remain a major concern.

Ontario budget delivers investments, now must deliver on better jobs and stronger health care

TORONTO- Infrastructure, industry and health care investments are welcome in the Ontario budget, but government needs to take the next step and translate spending into good jobs and a stronger public health care system, including workforce development strategies.

"The Ontario government has put much needed money on the table - now they have to finish the job by ensuring that the work is done here in Ontario by Ontario workers. If we are going to build the transit of the future, let’s build it in Ontario,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

Letter to Premier Ford and Ministers McNaughton and Smith re: Windsor Salt strike

TO: The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development of Ontario; The Honourable Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

Dear Premier Ford and Ministers McNaughton and Smith,


Unifor members at Windsor Salt mine to begin job action

WINDSOR—Concessionary demands for contracting out work are among the issues that will force Unifor Locals 1959 and 240 to begin legal strike action at Windsor Salt tonight at midnight.

“When the employer comes with concessions and schemes to bust the union, Unifor members are going to fight back every time,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Workers at Windsor Salt have the full backing of our union.”

Time is running out for Mosaic to avoid job action

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle says Local 892 members at the Mosaic potash mine in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan can count on the power of Canada’s largest union in the private sector if negotiations fail to produce a new collective agreement in the next few weeks.

“It’s simple: cost of living is increasing. Wages and benefits must keep up. If that doesn’t happen, Mosaic’s customers are going to see a disruption in service,” he said.

Unifor files for mediation after Mosaic Potash negotiations reach impasse

ESTERHAZY, SASKATCHEWAN–Unifor Local 892 has filed for mediation after contract negotiations with Mosaic Potash Esterhazy Limited reached an impasse. 

“Mosaic is a multi-national corporation that rakes in billions yet refuses to help its workers keep up with the cost of living,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle. 

Unifor Local 306-O ratifies new collective agreement with Covia

PETERBOROUGH—Job security and wage increases are key gains in a new collective agreement ratified today by Unifor Local 306-O members at Covia Canada Limited.

“As the Nephton mine’s closure approaches, it is a priority to ensure there are no negative consequences for Unifor members,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “The new agreement is a terrific example of what can be done with long-term planning and respect for workers.”