Cargill’s Guelph beef plant staff ratify deal: report

Cargill’s Guelph beef plant staff ratify deal: report

Unionized staff at Cargill’s beef packing plant at Guelph, Ont. have voted to ratify a new four-year deal, just ahead of a strike deadline, according to the Guelph Mercury.

The newspaper reported Monday on its website that out of the 600 staff who voted on the deal starting Sunday morning, about 78 per cent voted in favour.

The new agreement, developed during mediation last week, was finalized “just hours” before the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175’s strike deadline Friday, the Mercury said.

Mercury reporter Rob O’Flanagan on Friday quoted Cargill plant manager Matt Gibney as saying the UFCW’s bargaining committee “unanimously” recommended the 780 represented employees approve the deal.

The four-year contract includes a lump-sum payment of $500 in the deal’s first year, plus wage hikes of 30, 30 and 35 cents per hour in the second, third and fourth year, the newspaper said.

The newspaper also quoted union officials as saying they agreed to compromise on guaranteed hours of work, allowing the company to guarantee workers 40 hours a week for 42 weeks and 32 hours a week for 10 weeks.

The former Better Beef plant’s management also gets flex-scheduling language that allows for “better access” to workers during production spikes, the Mercury said.

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