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Cargill Guelph employees ratify new deal

Cargill Guelph employees ratify new deal

More than 900 workers returned to work on July 8

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The 41-day strike at the Cargill facility in Guelph is over after the 960 striking workers ratified a new agreement between Cargill and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175.

Workers returned to work on July 8 after voting 52 per cent in favour of the deal on July 6. The strike started on May 27.

The new deal includes:

  • Wage increases totaling $3.75 per hour over the course of the agreement.
  • A $500 lump sum contract renewal incentive payment.
  • Dental coverage of $2,000 per year.
  • Five days of bereavement leave.

“It is a tough decision to go on strike and it can be an even more difficult decision to end a strike. But these members took a stand against a huge corporation and they should be proud of their strength and courage,” Kelly Tosato, president of UFCW Local 175, said in a statement.

Members of the ag industry are pleased to hear of the strike’s resolution.

“We are relieved to hear that an agreement has been reached between Cargill Guelph and Union officials,” Beef Farmers of Ontario said on X on July 6. “We will continue to monitor as the facility reopens and returns to normal operation.”

The facility on Dunlop Dr. processes about 1,500 head of cattle each day, around 75 per cent of all Ontario cattle and is responsible for almost 70 per cent of eastern Canada’s federally inspected processing capacity.

As the strike continued, the federal and provincial governments took steps to support affected farmers.

AgriStability interim payments for beef producers, for example, were increased from 50 to 75 per cent.

And the Ontario government moved up the 2024 Q1/Q2 Risk Management Program payment to the end of August. And the deadline for sales reports was moved from July 15 to July 31.

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