UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

October 13, 2005 18:39 ET


UFCW Canada national director tells Tyson execs in Arkansas he is ready to meet "anytime, anyplace" to settle crisis quickly at Brooks, Alberta packing plant Attention: Agriculture Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2005) - Michael J. Fraser, the national director of UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada) is calling on Prime Minister Paul Martin, and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein to get involved to resolve a strike at the Tyson Foods Lakeside Packers cattle slaughterhouse and processing facility in Brooks, Alberta.

"During the BSE Mad Cow crisis, Ottawa and Alberta gave more than $40 million dollars to Tyson because of a business crisis," said Fraser. "Where are the Prime Minister and Premier Klein now that there's a human crisis?"

The strike by members of UFCW Canada Local 401 started on October 12th after Arkansas-owned Tyson Foods rejected a proposal by a mediator appointed by the Alberta government to facilitate a first-contract agreement at Lakeside, following nine months of fruitless negotiations with Tyson Lakeside management.

Today the UFCW Canada national director let senior Tyson executives in the United States know he is ready to meet face-to-face before the situation at Lakeside causes "irreparable harm to Lakeside workers, their families, Brooks, the Alberta community and the Canadian cattle industry," said Fraser.

"I am ready to meet anytime, anyplace to settle this strike as quickly as possible. The situation in Brooks is not good and it must be resolved before tensions escalate any further."

"I am also calling on the Prime Minister to ask federal Labour Minister Joe Fontana to get involved. Let them examine Tyson's argument that the mediator's proposal, with its workplace rights and safety requirements, is bad for business; even though a similar contract works just fine at a unionized plant in High River, Alberta where the U.S. company Cargill respects its Alberta workers."

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein should also be at the table, said Fraser, "to explain why the Alberta Labour Board issued an injunction today on limiting picketers less than 24 hours after Tyson asked for it, yet the same Board still hasn't replied to the very serious unfair labour charges we filed against Tyson on behalf of our members in August of 2004?"

"Most Albertans would be ashamed and concerned if they knew the working conditions at Lakeside. Premier Klein knows. His mediator told him. So let Premier Klein step up to the plate and protect his citizens. Tyson is not an Alberta citizen. Lakeside workers are."


/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