Dirty Activity of Canada Steamship Lines

in Salt Strike

Canada Steamship Lines removes salt from Windsor Salt’s Ojibway Mine complex, April 26, 2023.

Using a court injunction it received allegedly to protect the environment and machines in and around the salt operations it owns in Windsor, Ontario, Stone Canyon Industries Holdings Inc. (SCIH) has been able to maintain a level of production at its Ojibway Mine complex during the strike of salt workers which has now gone on for 175 days.

Workers are raising concerns that Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) has been removing the rock salt mined by managers and this is prolonging the strike. CSL is owned by the Martin family associated with former federal Liberal Cabinet Minister Paul Martin Sr. and his son Paul Martin Jr., former federal Liberal Finance Minister and later Prime Minister. Paul Martin Jr. sold his ownership in the company to his three sons, one of whom now sits as Chairman of the Board. CSL and CSL International own the world's largest fleet of dry bulk self-unloading vessels. 

CSL boats sent to Windsor Salt are able to transport 30,000 tons of rock salt in a single load. Workers loading the product on the ships are represented by the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada. Salt workers report that the Seafarers' Union had stated their members would respect the picket line if one was established in the water. Initially, the ship Whitefish Bay came to load salt from the Ojibway Mine, but the workers on the boat refused to cross the line established. Salt workers inform that refusing to load the salt meant that these workers gave up their pay for that load as a form of support to their strike. Since then, two other ships -- the Baie Comeau and the Baie St. Paul -- have been brought to take loads out of the Ojibway Mine and have not respected the water picket lines, creating a dangerous situation for the strikers on the water and prolonging the strike. Workers inform that these loads are likely headed for U.S. markets in Milwaukee or Chicago where city governments are stocking up for the coming winter.

This article was published in
Number 44 - August 10, 2023

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