UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

October 19, 2005 11:15 ET


UNION CALLS FOR RETURN TO BARGAINING AS LEGAL PICKETING CHOKES PRODUCTION AT BROOKS, ALBERTA SLAUGHTERHOUSE Attention: Agriculture Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor BROOKS, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - To date the only beneficiaries of the Lakeside Packers strike are the tens of thousands of cattle that haven't gone to slaughter since the Tyson company forced a strike by rejecting a mediator's first-contract recommendation.

Legal picketing which continues to slow entry to the plant has cut a regular cull of 3,800 head a day to less than a 500 since the strike began according to sources working inside the plant.

With cattle inventories building up, The Alberta Beef Producers has joined the call by union leaders and Alberta opposition parties for a quick resolution to the strike but so far the Alberta government has refused to intervene.

Requests by the union for Premier Klein to get involved were met by a rebuke from the Premier's office which accused the union of "playing a deadly game of politics gambling with peoples lives," after UFCW Canada national director Michael J. Fraser voiced his concern for the safety of strikers following a week marred by company violence.

"We're not threatening violence," said Fraser. "We're threatened by it because we have already been the victim of a gang beating of three of our members by Lakeside supervisory personnel, and a conspired effort to injure UFCW Canada Local 401 Doug O'Halloran after he was chased and driven off the road by Lakeside managers who have since been criminally charged."

"The RCMP can confirm that from the workers' side this has been a peaceful strike," said Fraser, "and it will continue to be as long as the company does not succeed in provoking its striking employees with further violence or the threat of it."

"The best guarantee to a quick and peaceful resolution is a return to face-to-face bargaining. To that end we are ready to meet Tyson anytime, anyplace to negotiate an agreement to end this strike,the sooner the better," said Fraser.

"If there is a 'deadly game of politics' going on in Alberta, it is the politics of inaction. What is desperately needed is action from Premier Klein as well as the federal government to bring Tyson back to the bargaining table." /For further information: Also see:

Contact Information

  • Michael Forman, Coordinator, National Media, UFCW CANADA
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104 ext. 249
    Secondary Phone: 416-579-8330
    E-mail: mforman@ufcw.ca