Cargill Case Ready: Achievements & Next Steps

When bargaining a new union contract, your Negotiating Committee’s goal is always to ensure that your issues and concerns are front and centre when interacting with the company. Our outcomes are aimed at addressing your needs and demands from the bargaining process.

Be sure to read all the way to bottom for Q&A, voting locations, and times!

Over the course of negotiations, your Negotiating Committee has met with the company for more than nine days of traditional bargaining and an additional two days with the assistance of a government-appointed Mediator.  

The point of bargaining is to bring the best possible offer back to our members to review and vote on. Your Negotiating Committee has kept that goal in sight as it has made its way through the negotiation process with Cargill. 

As a result, we have reached agreements on numerous outstanding issues. However, despite your committee’s efforts, we were unable to ultimately reach an agreement on an overall package. 

While Cargill’s offer includes some significant wage gains over the life of the agreement, it does not address some key concerns that were identified as priorities by the Cargill Case Ready membership.

Additionally, Cargill was also looking for a number of changes that would have had a significantly negative impact on your working conditions in your committee’s opinion. These concessions included the creation of a 10-hour shift and the removal of lines ownership for all current employees. 

Your Negotiating Committee told the company and the Mediator that these concessions were unacceptable. Your committee warned that the concessions’ impacts on the membership would potentially escalate bargaining toward a labour dispute if not removed. 

After the company tabled their last offer, we asked the Mediator to review the document and provide his recommendations on a settlement to your union and the company. You will find the Mediator’s Recommendations linked at the bottom of this update.

The Mediator and your Negotiating Committee believe that this Mediator’s Recommended Settlement represents the best possible settlement under the current circumstances without a labour dispute.

While the Mediator’s Recommended Settlement may not address all the issues identified by the membership, your Negotiating Committee wanted to highlight some of the improvements it contains:

  • $3.45 (18.2% to base rate) increase over the life of the agreement. Five years, expiring December 31, 2027,
  • $1.80 wage increase within a short period following ratification. This equates to a 9.5% increase to the base rate,
  • In lieu of retroactivity for wage increases, the company will pay the following Ratification Bonuses:
  • $1,500.00 to all employees with a service date prior to or on December 31, 2022 (except those employees on leave in 2023 as set out below).Anchor
  • $750.00 to all employees with a service date after December 31, 2022, and all employees with a service date prior to or on December 31, 2022, who were on unpaid leave for a period of 6 months or more during 2023.
  • Introduction of vision care, including eye exams.
  • Conversion of current flex employees to full-time with benefits.
  • Increased boot allowance.
  • Increased orthodontic coverage.
  • Improved job levels. 
  • Improved health and safety language.

Click here to see the Mediator’s Recommended Settlement.

It is crucial that you have the time you need in order to review the Mediator’s Recommended Settlement thoroughly. Consequently, your Negotiating Committee wants to provide the members with a full week before scheduling ratification votes.

Your committee encourages you to review the document thoroughly and direct any questions you may have to the members of your Union Negotiating Committee.

Before the votes, we will hold Question and Answer meetings for Cargill Case Ready members. However, you do not need to wait until the meetings to ask any questions you might have. 

Please contact your Negotiating Committee with your questions. The faster you get the information you need on the Mediator’s Recommended Settlement the better so that you have sufficient time to consider your options.

The expectations of Cargill Case Ready members are high, and your committee understands why. Nonetheless, the Committee felt that it was essential to bring this Mediator’s Recommended Settlement back to the members so that you could review it and provide us with direction on how you would like to proceed.

There are many improvements and additions to the contract in this Mediator’s Recommended Settlement. If accepted, those improvements would provide additional benefits and wages for Cargill Case Ready employees right away. 

If the members reject the Mediator’s Recommended Settlement, your Union Negotiating Committee will proceed to hold a strike vote in the New Year. 

Question and answer drop-in sessions: will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites Calgary Airport North (2021 100 Ave NE) on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, between 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.

In-person voting: will be held in the Training Room in the Plant on Thursday, December 14, 2023, between the following hours:

8:00 am – 9:00 am
10:00 am – 12:30 pm
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Online voting: (for those unable to vote in person) will be conducted between 12:01 am and 1:00 pm on Friday, December 15, 2023.  

Your union utilizes an independent voting company to ensure the integrity of online voting. If you wish to vote online, the company conducting the vote for us will require a valid email address to send you a unique ballot and password.

If you are unsure if Local 401 has your correct email address, please contact our Calgary Office at 403-291-1047 to update your contact information.

As always, the choice of the direction you wish to take at this point in negotiations is yours to make. Your Negotiating Committee encourages you to review the information presented and ensure you have what you need to make your voice heard by voting.

In solidarity,
Your UFCW Local 401 Union Negotiating Committee,
Devin Yeager (Spokesperson), Teresa Ludwig (Union Labour Relations Officer), Alain Mendoza (Relief Union Representative), Rajwinder Deol, Gurpreet Gill, Kyle Grundy, Rosalina Layacan, Chuck Sigurdson

For a printable version of this document, click here.