Workers call strike at Olymel hog plant in Quebec

Producers urged to prioritize heavier hogs when shipping


by Dave Bedard, AGCanada

Apr. 30th, 2021


Talks toward a new contract for unionized employees at meat packer Olymel’s hog slaughter and processing plant in Quebec’s Beauce region have ended in a strike.


The Syndicat des travailleurs d’Olymel Vallee-Jonction-CSN, which represents over 1,000 staff at Vallee-Jonction, about 60 km southeast of Quebec City, called an “indefinite” strike effective Wednesday morning, the union said in a release Thursday.


Quebec’s hog producer organization, Les eleveurs de porcs du Quebec, has reworked its weight classification charts in response to the work stoppage at the plant.


The organization was quoted Thursday in Le Bulletin des agriculteurs as encouraging producers to prioritize their heaviest hogs when preparing to ship slaughter-weight animals.


In the union’s release, STOVJ president Martin Maurice said relations between the union and company have been tense for a long time, but workers have until now remained on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, “sometimes at risk to their health.”


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