(Montreal) 200 Sucre-Lantic workers voted 98% Saturday morning in favor of an indefinite general strike, at the Montreal general assembly meeting.
After 21 negotiation sessions, and in the face of an employer’s desire to resort to subcontracting, employees of Quebec’s only sugar refinery are ready to step up the pressure, according to a press release.
“For several years, the use of subcontracting has increased dramatically in the plant. While this week we were supposed to discuss this aspect seriously, which is the main topic at the negotiating table, the employer has come back to us instead by proposing the status quo,” says Benoit Desrosiers, President of the Sucre Lantik Workers Union – CSN: “It doesn’t work.
Workers plan to strike when required. However, three days of negotiations are scheduled for next week.
Discussions about the monetary aspects have not yet begun. The use of subcontracting is the issue that prompted workers to vote in favor of this strike mandate, according to CSN Trade Union General Secretary Nancy Mathieu.
The union also denounces that certain types of job vacancies are not replaced by a factory worker, but are delegated to subcontract.
“Once again, we are being deceived about our contracted rights and jobs […] We want to keep our jobs, they pay well,” emphasizes MI Matthew in an interview with the Canadian Press.
One of the issues that has also been raised with the use of subcontracting has to do with some of the inconveniences related to health and safety training. according to mI Matthew, this problem affects the working conditions of factory workers, as well as the lack of experience, knowledge and training of some people assigned to subcontractors.
“Obviously there is always an issue of health and safety, because whoever returns is not always the same,” M. said.I Matthew.
Sucre Lantic is one of the largest sugar refineries in Canada. The company owns three factories located in Vancouver, Tapper, Alberta and Montreal. In the union press release, Mr.I Matthew had predicted that an indefinite general strike would greatly slow down the pace of production. according to mI Matthew, other factories will not be enough to offset the Montreal plant closure. “Sucre Lantic not only produces sugar for consumers through food markets, but it also supplies producers like Heinz or Barry Callebaut, which supply a significant proportion of North American chocolate. This hit could have major implications in many sectors.”
The collective agreement expired in May 2021.
The Canadian Press was unable to reach the management of Sucre Lantic for comment.
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