Cheese and butter cutting operators are demanding wage catch-up with their colleagues in other regions of Quebec, increased job mobility, and the preservation of their benefits.
Laval, May 8, 2023 – 185 workers from Agropur in Beauce, affiliated with Local 1999 of the Teamsters Union, went on strike today following the repeated refusal of their employer, Agropur, to negotiate.
Without a contract for several months, the butter and cheese cutting operators are demanding wage catch-up with their Agropur colleagues working in other regions, increased job mobility within the company, and the preservation of their benefits.
François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, finds the situation worrisome. “We are dealing with an employer who lacks seriousness in the process. From the beginning of the discussions, they requested a conciliator. They want to prolong the deadlock to get what they want. We ask the employer to come to the negotiating table and adopt an attitude aimed at concluding a collective agreement. Under the current circumstances, we cannot be surprised by our members’ decision to go on strike,” he declared.
Marc Béliveau, union representative at Local 1999 of the Teamsters Union, explains that the operators’ demands are not extravagant: “Agropur pays the Beauce workers less than workers elsewhere in Quebec. In an inflationary context, this difference is even more noticeable. How does Agropur explain this difference? Our members also want more mobility within the company because, at the moment, it is difficult to progress within the company and obtain new roles.”
The Teamsters Union remains available to negotiate with Agropur and hopes to reach a swift agreement with the employer but will support its striking members for as long as necessary.
With over 125,000 members, Teamsters Canada is the country’s largest transportation and supply chain union. The organization represents workers at CP, CN, UPS, Purolator, countless trucking companies, and more. They are affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents over 1.2 million workers in North America.
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