by DAVE PINK
The nearly 800 unionized employees at the largest beef processing plant in Ontario are to vote on new collective agreement Sunday, says Luc Lacelle, a spokesperson for Local 175 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour mediator met Thursday with representatives of Guelph-based Cargill Meat Solutions and the UFCW in an attempt to work out a new contract and avoid a strike that could have started as early as Friday midnight
Union members had already rejected an earlier company offer that called for wage rollbacks.
Minneapolis-based Cargill has a world-wide workforce about 140,000 people in the food, agricultural and financial industries. It operates two beef production plants in Canada – the one in Guelph formerly known as Better Beef, and another in High River, Alta. The Guelph plant processes up to 2,000 animals a day, most of them from Ontario farms, and employs a total workforce of about 1,900 people. BF