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Striking Jamieson workers block bus carrying non-union employees

Workers on strike at Jamieson Laboratories in Windsor turned away a bus with non-unionized staff on Monday. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)
Workers on strike at Jamieson Laboratories in Windsor turned away a bus with non-unionized staff on Monday. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)

Workers on the picket line Monday afternoon at Jamieson Laboratories in Windsor, Ont., prevented a bus carrying employees from entering the building's parking lot, but the company says those on board were not replacement workers.

A large white coach bus accompanied by security was parked in front of the facility and eventually left early Monday afternoon.

The company confirmed in a statement some non-unionized employees "attempted to go to work today but were denied access by the picketers."

"We're not letting them in," said Nikola Savic, the Jamieson union chairperson, noting they had a similar conversation with police. "They can cross the street but we're not letting cars into the parking lot."

Savic said there's no sign negotiations would resume soon, as workers have been on the picket line for five days. He said the union wants to return to the table but there has not been any contact with the company in the last several days.

Manny Sforza, international vice-president with the Amalgamated Transit Union, said dozens of ATU members were on the picket line in solidarity with Unifor members at Jamieson.

"We're here for them, because we know they would have been on our picket line this morning if we were on one," Sforza said. "This is what the labour movement is all about, supporting each other."

Workers at Transit Windsor, represented by ATU, secured a last-minute deal late Sunday night, averting a city-wide transit strike.

Jamieson said in its statement that people who attempted to come to work on Monday included laboratory technicians and quality control staff, and they were not replacement workers.

"We remain committed to working with union representatives to reach an agreement as soon as possible," said Ruth Winker, senior director of communications for Jamieson.

More than 300 workers at the plant went on strike Thursday night as Unifor Local 195, representing workers, noted wages and workload were two of the most pressing issues in negotiations.