Public Service Workers Expand Pickets in Windsor-Essex
Public service workers represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) have been expanding their picket lines across the country to back up their right to negotiate wages and working conditions which the government is stalling. Windsor, Ontario is a significant hub for federal workers at the two border crossings (bridge and tunnel to the U.S.) and all the federal customs, immigration and border services facilities associated with them. On Tuesday April 25 public service workers held a picket at the exit of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, a federally regulated tunnel which is jointly owned by the City of Windsor and the City of Detroit. On the same day, the Windsor and District Labour Council held a rally in support of the workers at Windsor City Hall which many local unions joined to express their support, including representatives of striking Windsor Salt workers. At the rally speakers re-affirmed that Windsor is a union town and that the workers stand as one in defense of the rights of all.
On April 26, despite attempts by police agencies to intimidate workers into staying away from the Ambassador Bridge by serving them with an injunction issued against the Freedom Convoy blockade over a year ago, a spirited picket was established at the Ambassador Bridge outside of the customs centre where some PSAC members deemed essential were working. The picket was also established along the roads leading to the Bridge where cars and trucks enter and exit. The rally was met with enthusiastic honks of support from cars and trucks entering the bridge complex and leaving it. They were joined by CUPE, OSSTF and ETFO members.
A contingent of striking PSAC workers also spent the morning with Windsor Salt workers on strike at a time that the company is trying to step up its intimidation of the workers by bringing in more boats and trucks to move salt. The PSAC workers saw for themselves the union-busting company’s use of security companies to try to intimidate those on the line while they stood firmly with them. Standing together the workers are giving concrete expression to the spirit of the rally held a day earlier that the workers of Windsor-Essex stand as one.