The beef sector is hoping to see an agreement reached that will avert a potential lock out at the Cargill meat packing plant at High River.

Negotiators for Cargill and the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union Local 401 are back at the bargaining table today.

A report called "No Safe Place" compiled by the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University and the advocacy group Action Dignity focused on conditions faced by employees during COVID at Alberta's meatpacking plants.

Action Dignity's website notes Cargill workers want to see :

- Increased wages for all, including full retroactive pay. (The company reportedly ended its extra pandemic pay for workers last year.)
- Increased signing bonus
- Fair ways to monitor line speeds
- Limitations on benefit costs and co-pays
- Increased benefit coverage
- Health and safety improvements
- Sick leave
- Improvements to shift scheduling

Cargill has reportedly exchanged proposals with the union focusing around increased wages, cash bonuses and enhanced employee benefits.

However, workers voted 98% against Cargill's offer last week.

That resulted in the company serving notice that if contract talks (which begin Nov 30) are unsuccessful it will lock out more than 2000 workers at the plant starting on Monday, December 6th.

 

 

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