The UFCW does not “currently” accept the Department of Labor’s offer of arbitration for the dispute at Exceldor. It is preferable to focus on reconciliation between the parties.
The strike has caused a lot of talk in recent days, as it has euthanized a million chickens in three weeks, thus food waste.
The Minister of Labor and Employment, Jean Boulet, offered the parties to appoint an arbitrator to settle the dispute. But the appointment of this arbitrator must be acceptable to both parties and be the subject of a joint application.
The Exceldor management announced, on Tuesday evening, live on television that it had accepted this arbitration offer. We welcome the offer of arbitration. “The struggle has gone on for long enough; we have to stop this waste,” said Joel Cormier, Vice President of Chicken at Exceldor, in an interview with ICI RDI Tuesday night.
The FTQ-affiliated United Food and Trade Workers’ Union, which joined on Wednesday, replied that it had not accepted the arbitration offer “for the time being”. We prefer to trust in luck. “It is always better to have a negotiated settlement than to see an arbitrator force a collective agreement at work,” UFCW spokeswoman Roxanne Laroche said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“If we are in a situation where the arbitrator imposes the collective agreement, the essence of the problem will not be resolved. She noted that the problems we are facing today and the reasons for the workers’ strike will be displaced in time.
She asserts that union members want to “give every opportunity” to the reconciliation that has already begun. A Tawfiq meeting is also scheduled for Thursday and Friday. MI Thrones asserts that the matchmaking talks were progressing “slowly” but moving forward.
On the other hand, Mr. Cormier says the opposite. “We do something right away.” »
MI Thrones wonders, however, if the employer will attend Thursday’s conciliation meeting truly willing to settle and negotiate, now that he’s agreed to hand the dispute over to an arbitrator.
There are significant differences between the two parties, among other things over wages and the conditions in which the work is performed. According to the most recent discussions, the employer was offering $22 an hour and the union was asking $25 an hour.
MI Thrones also spoke of a “toxic work climate” for several years, “a lot of tension.” “Working in slaughterhouses is working in a standing position, shoulder to shoulder, with a smell that is not always pleasant, in a humid environment. Workers have reached a ‘point of no return’ and they want the parties to address the root issues,” she said.