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Hopefully Back To The Barging Table For Cargill and Workers

There is word that both sides in the Cargill labour dispute in High River are scheduled to talk this week.

Unless a new deal is worked out between the two sides, hundreds of workers will hit the bricks next Monday morning. They rejected the last offer from Cargill by a margin of 98 percent. Not long after, Cargill issued a lockout notice should workers walk off the job in less than a week.

A lot of folks are watching this carefully, including cattle producers in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Melanie Wowk with Alberta Beef Producers says they remain confident both sides can work out a deal before the start of next week. The president of the Saskatchewan stock growers, Kelsey Elford says a labour disruption at the huge plant would be devastating, leading to a backlog of cattle and even more pressure on prices. "Cargill processes 36 percent of the animals that are processed in Canada. Right now, there is a lot of cull animals that are going to town. That means the volume is up and they need a place to go. If this plant ceases operations for even a day, that impacts the market, impacts people's livelihoods and we can't have that."

Producers are worried that a labour disruption would again create a huge backlog of cattle on the prairies as it did when the plant shut down for two weeks because of a COVID outbreak.

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