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Cargill Guelph Strike Ends

Cargill Guelph Strike Ends

Guelph Meat Plant Strike Settled - New Deal Approved

By Jean-Paul McDonald

Following a month-long work stoppage, employees represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 have ratified a new collective agreement with Cargill.

The Cargill Guelph Dunlop facility fills 67 percent of the federally inspected processing capacity in eastern Canada. The resumption will be a relief to beef producers in Eastern Canada, who had to find source alternative facilities in Canada and the United States.

The ratified agreement delivers substantial improvements for the 960 unionized workers, including:

  • Increased Wages: A total hourly wage increase of $3.75, with $2 implemented in the first year.
  • Enhanced Benefits Package: Upgraded dental coverage valued at $2,000 annually, along with increased short-term disability payments (up to $143 more per week) and five days of bereavement leave for immediate family members.

UFCW Local 175 President Kelly Tosato commended the unwavering commitment of the union members. "While initiating a strike is a difficult decision, resolving one can be even more challenging.

The previous agreement proposed by Cargill on May 26th was not ratified by the union, triggering the strike action.

The plant began operations on Monday, July 8, however a full-time work schedule will not be immediately available for all employees.

The union will offer pro-rated strike pay for the first week to those experiencing reduced work hours.

The Guelph facility is the largest meat processing plant in Ontario, responsible for processing approximately 75% of the province's cattle (over 1,500 head daily). The return of workers signifies a positive resolution to the month-long labor dispute.

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