GODERICH, Ont. – Unifor says the union and Compass Minerals in Goderich, Ont., have agreed to return to the bargaining table on Thursday in an effort to end a strike that began April 27.
Unifor represents 348 members at what’s billed as the world’s largest underground salt mine on the eastern shore of Lake Huron.
Bargaining will resume less than a week after striking workers blocked an access road to the mine to express frustration over the company’s use of replacement workers.
Unifor alleged the company was flying in workers from New Brunswick while demanding concessions that include mandatory overtime, reduced benefits, and a weakening of contracting-out provisions.
In a letter to the community late last month, Compass Minerals said it has used contractors to produce salt to fill long-term orders, and had little choice but to do so in a competitive market.
The company said it presented an offer when the strike began to address all outstanding issues, with wage increases and benefit improvements, but accused Unifor’s bargaining committee of abruptly leaving the negotiations and taking their members out on strike.
Unifor said Tuesday that while picketing at the site continues, non-bargaining unit personnel will have unimpeded access to the mine.