Windsor Salt Mine Strike Ends, Tornado Hits Region, and COVID-19 Outbreak at Local Hospital

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In Windsor, Ontario, after enduring a 192-day impasse, striking workers at the Windsor Salt mine have ratified a new collective agreement. Unifor Local 1959 President, Bill Wark, announced this lead on Sunday following the scrap of an earlier proposal. A glimpse of hope had emerged when Unifor Locals 240 and 1959 revealed a tentative contract on Aug. 24; a precursory arrangement that was finally cemented this past Sunday. The salt mine employees, divided across three units, voted unanimously in favour of the renewed pact. In particular, production employees from the Ojibway Mine voted 69 per cent in favour of the fresh settlement.

Natural calamities have also blemished the regional landscape recently. A second tornado has been confirmed after a series of powerful storms tore through the region on Aug. 24. The Northern Tornadoes Project, from Western University, declared that an EF1 tornado, boasting winds over 145 km/h, had wreaked havoc in Tecumseh and Lakeshore. Residents were left somewhat unsurprised; Tecumseh inhabitant Barbara Saxson recounted: “I heard it, and it shook the house, so everyone saw it. It was immense.”

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Meanwhile, Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 on its seventh floor medical unit at the Ouellette Campus. This has resulted in ten patients testing positive, eight of whom manifested symptoms, while two were asymptomatic. Visitors at the hospital have been urged to comply with mandatory masking requirements and don other protective gear where necessary.

Shaun Gereghty, a Windsor resident, has lauded the Canadian government’s decision to issue a travel advisory for LGBTQ2S+ citizens travelling to the U.S. Gereghty hasn’t traversed the Windsor-Detroit border for seven years, his initial interaction with gun violence outside a gay bar having scarred him. The advisory, published on the federal government’s website, warns LGBTQ2S+ travellers that some states have enacted laws and policies that could affect them.

Law enforcement has been successful in tackling the local drug scene, with Windsor police arresting three individuals and confiscating an estimated $165,000 worth of drugs and a firearm from residences in East Windsor and Lakeshore. These arrests follow a multi-month investigation into a suspected drug network linked to a Hamilton street gang. In the operation, officers seized significant amounts of fentanyl, Percocet, a small quantity of crystal methamphetamine, and an unidentified substance suspected to be a cutting agent, alongside a 9mm firearm, ammunition, cash, and mobile phones.