This strike in the salt industry could have effects on your plate

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This strike in the salt industry could affect your plate

A prolonged strike could disrupt the supply chain of salt, says an expert.

Unionized workers at Windsor Salt call on management to return to the bargaining table .

About 250 Windsor Salt workers have been on strike for a month. The movement aims to protect jobs and preserve decades-long benefits, according to Lindsay Meloche, president of Unifor Local 240, which represents Windsor Salt employees.

We are looking to keep our jobs. We just want to keep the things we fought so hard for over the years, says Ms. Meloche.

The company is trying to strip us of all job protection, she adds.

“They want deprived us of all that we have so hard earned over the past 60 years.

— Lindsay Meloche, President of Unifor Local 240

According to Ms. Meloche, the problems began in 2021 when the American company Stone Canyon Industries took over Windsor Salt and began to undermine the union.

In the current labor dispute, negotiations between the two parties have been at a standstill since January 16, she affirms while specifying that the questions related to wages have not not even discussed at the negotiating table yet.

The mine is completely closed, explains Ms. Meloche. She claims that employees who are currently working are sending in products that were extracted before February 17, when unionized workers went on strike.

We are prepared to stay here as long as it takes, says Dennis Biens, who has worked for the company for ten years.

The last strike in the 1990s lasted seven months , adds Ms. Meloche.

It is worrying, this company sells its stocks, at some point, it will simply run out of products, notes Sylvain Charlebois, professor of distribution and agri-food policy at Dalhousie University and director of the Analytical Science Laboratory agribusiness.

“These strikes may affect retail food prices in the long run. This is one more factor that can contribute to inflation. »

— Sylvain Charlebois, professor of agri-food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University and director of the Agri-Food Analytical Science Laboratory

According to Mr. Charlebois, several months of strikes can disrupt the salt supply chain.

All food companies that need salt will have to pay more and will have to revise prices to their customers, processors, distributors who sell groceries, he explains.

“What I find a little odd is that we don't don't think of salt as an ingredient that is part of the agri-food chain […] It's an essential product, we put sodium everywhere in our food.

— Sylvain Charlebois, Professor of Agrifood Policy and Distribution at Dalhousie University and Director of the Agrifood Analytical Science Laboratory.

Windsor Salt did not responded to our interview requests.

With information from CBC

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