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Canadian poultry processor set to close plant in 2021

Workers at Maple Leaf Foods vote 98 percent in favour of strike action; plant set to close in 2021.

9 May 2019, at 10:38am

At a vote held on 27 April 2019, UFCW Canada Local 1006A members working at Maple Leaf Foods voted 98 percent in favour of taking strike action to get a fair contract.

Maple Leaf Foods announced in November 2018 that it will be closing its Toronto facility by 2021. In light of the company’s decision to close, workers' main priority is to achieve fair severance and closure language.

The approximately 680 workers who process poultry at the facility have struggled to get a fair deal since it expired 23 September 2018.

"The ‘deep regrets’ expressed by CEO Michael McCain are sorely missing at the negotiating table,” said Don Taylor, lead negotiator for Local 1006A. "Maple Leaf has failed to demonstrate a meaningful commitment to do more than the bare minimum as workers' jobs disappear. We’re calling on the company to do the right thing by our members who have worked so hard to ensure Maple Leaf's success."

Many members at the plant are long-service employees. The plant closure means the loss of good-paying unionised jobs in Toronto.

Maple Leaf Foods recently reported $50.1 million in 2019 Q1 profit, with sales up 11 percent from a year ago.

UFCW Local 1006A represents over 35,000 workers in Ontario in all sectors of the economy, including the manufacturing, hotel, retail, restaurant, and meat processing industries.