The labor dispute at Exceldor cooperative in Saint-Anselme ends after a month of the strike.
On Saturday, the slaughterhouse union members accepted 66% of the draft regulation submitted by the mediators of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity (MTESS), announced the United Food Workers union. And Commerce (TUAC).
The approximately 550 workers at Excelsior, in Chaudière-Appalaches, will have a new collective agreement for six years which will be retroactive to August 1, 2020. The negotiation committee decided in favor of the offers since they contained most of the union demands.
“We are very happy to have been able to continue the conciliation process to the very end rather than having a collective agreement imposed by an arbitrator,” commented Roxane Larouche, spokesperson for UFCW in the case. of Excelsior, in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Employees will be entitled to wage increases of 19.75% distributed until 2025—a wage offer below what the union wanted.
“But it is still one of the highest collective agreements in poultry slaughterhouses that have just been concluded. In this sense, it is a victory for the workers,” argued Ms. Larouche.
The conditions under which the work is carried out, under pressure, were also in dispute. According to the union, the employer is committed to raising awareness among its foremen to ensure more equitable discipline management.
The two parties also agreed to work together with MTESS regularly to re-establish better working relations. The new agreement provides for “mechanisms for redressing injustices caused” to workers since 2013, TUAC 1991-P president Mario Maisonneuve said in a statement.
“Now that the labor dispute is over, the cooperative wishes to assure the union side of its full collaboration in order to promote a harmonious return to work,” for its part commented in a written statement the management of the chicken processor.
The company had accepted the hypothesis of settlement Thursday. The employees had been on strike since May 23, which resulted in the euthanasia of more than a million chickens in Quebec.
“To put an end to food waste and ensure the supply of markets, the employers’ party had already taken sides with this proposal, even if the terms of the new collective agreement will have the effect of redefining the poultry market in Quebec”, also argued the employer.
Excelsior cooperative wishes to resume the activities of its factory “as quickly as possible”. According to the union, it will take several days before it regains its total production capacity, possibly ten days.
The recovery will be gradual, mainly depending on the availability of poultry and the preparation of equipment by the mechanics, explained Roxane Larouche.
On Twitter, the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, affirmed that his teams would support the parties in the resumption of activities. “Now we have to look to the future,” he wrote.