Legacy Media’s Pathetic Attempt to Incite Opinion Against Salt Workers

Pathetic Attempt by Legacy Media to Incite Opinion Against Salt Workers

Workers continue to oppose cowardly attempts by the legacy media to disinform Canadians and blame the salt workers for damaging the economy so as to justify some form of government intervention to end the strike.

One report in the Calgary Herald titled, “Inside the worker strike that has left Calgarians with a shortage of salt” gave no information as to what was at stake in the fight for the control of Canadian salt and salt workers, and instead whipped up fear that the strike was harming small businesses.

The report quotes the director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto saying the dispute has reached a point where “it is no longer rational.” This is as irrational a statement as can be made given that the reasons for the strike are well known and the position of the workers is considered very dignified and courageous by fellow workers across the country who provide them with concrete moral and financial support to sustain the strike. “It’s become very ingrained and bitter,” the director said. “[Its effects] are rippling through the Canadian economy.” He said: “[W]hat’s unique about the dispute is the importance of the product.”

Instead of saying that the importance of the product means the workers should be treated with respect, the director uses his credentials as “director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto” to say that a third party should step in and resolve the issue. “When something gets dysfunctional, maybe it’s time for some outside help,” he said.

A reader of Workers’ Forum noted that the Director of Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the U of T, one of the main centres of irrationalism and reaction in Canada, gets a salary of close to $190,000 per year to produce this sort of drivel. Who, one might legitimately ask, is harming the economy? Not the workers, that is for sure.

It shows what the workers face when academics use their positions to push stands which are clearly biased against the workers to tell us what is good for the economy. The fact is that treating the workers with respect is fundamental. Talk about what is good for the economy which does not put the well-being of the workers in first place, no matter if the times be good or bad, is not trustworthy. It is self-serving and to be held in contempt.

The article also quotes the director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University who said “independent shops would be the most affected, while giants such as Walmart have the ability to choose from a wider selection of vendors.” The example is given of Sucre Patisserie & Cafe that apparently experienced a shortage of salt a few months ago and had to shift to use stored salt from its salt shakers for its baking. It is pathetic. In fact the article also notes that other businesses were able to source salt from other suppliers inside and outside of Canada.

The strike of the Windsor salt workers shows that, in fact, damage to the Canadian economy is posed by its not being under the control of Canadian workers but instead important commodities like salt are in the hands of a U.S. union-busting company such as Stone Canyon (SCIH) that is intent on manipulating the supply of salt in Canada to favour its own narrow interests.

For example, despite being published by the Calgary Herald about the effects of the strike in Alberta, the article does not even mention the closure of commercial salt production in Lindbergh, Alberta by SCIH in 2021. No rational person would conclude that this closure is irrelevant to the shortages taking place in Alberta at this time! Of course, the article is par for the course when it comes to the role of the legacy media in hiding relevant information and especially on remaining silent about the role workers play in the process of production without which talk of an economy is meaningless.

The article is also a feeble last-ditch attempt to show loyalty to the likes of Stone Canyon which has thus far failed to win any support for its strike breaking endeavours. Governments are always happy to intervene in labour disputes on the side of capital against labour when they can provide an argument that it is good for the economy but this attempt by “directors” of centres at prominent universities is too paltry by far.

Windsor salt workers have not held the line all these months to get rattled by such spurious arguments as the ones published by the Calgary Herald. For upholding the dignity of labour, they continue to gain more and more support from their community and workers across the country.