TORONTO—The union representing workers at a meat packing plant in Toronto is “calling for fairness” as a lockout of employees closes in on the two-week mark.
According to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, more than 130 workers at Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd. have been off the job since Aug. 31 after labour talks broke down.
The union said ownership is demanding wage freezes, the use of temporary workers and the cancellation of a short-term disability benefits program.
“The workers are the backbone of this company and at the heart of its success,” long-time employee Stephen Lavalle said in a union statement. “It’s unreasonable when the business is doing well, that they are demanding concessions.
“We want to return to work, but with a fair deal.”
The company, which boasts more than $90-million in annual sales on its website, said the 55,000 sq. ft. facility in west Toronto processes more than 65,000 head of cattle a year.
“Our members are standing up for fairness in their workplace, while ensuring decent jobs remain in the community,” UFCW Local 1000A lead negotiator Don Taylor said.
“The union’s negotiating committee has worked very hard to address the issues presented at the table. It is regrettable that the company refused to resolve this at the bargaining table and locked out our members in an attempt to force their agenda.”