Workers at St Marys Cement in Bowmanville, Ontario, have been on the picket line since March 14th. The sticking point in negotiations has been changes proposed by the company to the pension plan; the company is looking to change it from a defined-benefit plant to a defined-contribution plan, which the union strongly opposes.
A court injunction filed by the company means that striking workers can only delay trucks for 15 minutes on the way into the plant and 10 minutes on the way out, and cannot shut the plant down. Trucks continue to go in and out of the plant despite the efforts of strikers to convince drivers not to cross the picket line.
St. Marys workers are hopeful that once stockpiled products at the plant run out, they will be in a better position.
“Right now the plant is in a shutdown stage,” said Paul Sowden, the Unit Chairperson for the plant in an article on the CAW Local 222 website. “So we have to wait until we get to the point where they really need our work. And at that point we’ll be in a better bargaining position.”