June 12th, 2024

Cargill job action could be coming with effects on grocery stock possible

By Medicine Hat News on June 11, 2024.

@MedicineHatNews

The union representing boxed beef workers at a Cargill facility in Calgary says its members have given a 100 per cent mandate in a strike vote this month – and job action could also play out at grocery stores in the province.

The United Food and Commercial Workers, Local No. 401, is in mediation with the company toward a new collective agreement for 450 workers who have been in talks since late 2022.

UFCW president Thomas Hesse said Monday that a unanimous strike vote was recorded on June 6, stating in a release the result reflects “how much workers are hurting right now.”

“Cargill can certainly afford to do the right thing,” he said noting beef prices have risen 15 per cent in recent years. “That’s why reasonable wage increases and a guarantee of hours are important enough to our Cargill Case Ready members to vote this strongly for strike action.”

Hesse also said that if strike action is taken, Albertans can expect pickets and protests at major grocery stores staffed by UCFW members to highlight the need for raises to combat higher prices.

About 1,000 UFCW members represented by a different local are currently on strike at Cargill’s Guelph, Ont. packing plant.

The contract between No. 401 and Cargill at the company’s large High River facility extends through the end of 2026.

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