An Historic Strike Vote at Cargill Case Ready

When Cargill realized how strong the turnout was from our Case Ready members for this week’s strike vote, they finally dropped their attempts to object to the voting rights of certain members, and ballot counting went ahead.

As a result, this afternoon, UFCW Local 401 made history. We have seen a 100% vote in favour of striking from our members at Cargill Case Ready. It is the first 100% strike vote in memory at a large bargaining unit in Alberta.

This courageous strike vote sends a strong message to Cargill that its workers need a better deal to stop the squeeze they are suffering from the affordability crisis. We have bargaining dates scheduled with the company, but there is a very real possibility that we will ultimately go on strike.

If this happens, it will be our first affordability crisis strike, an action that could set a precedent for future fights for workers’ rights and fair contracts that address people’s needs at workplaces such as Safeway, Superstore, JBS, Olymel, and Cargill’s plant in High River. 

We will use all the resources at our disposal to support striking workers. The Union anticipates engaging and speaking to the public and consumers and is considering job action and protest options in front of Cargill’s High River plant and at stores like Safeway and Superstore.

In a very real sense, this would be a strike that belongs to all our members at Local 401. We will need to stand strong, with unwavering determination, and provide support and solidarity for workers at Cargill Case Ready. 

What a One Hundred Percent Strike Vote Means

Members of our Cargill Case Ready Bargaining Committee at today’s ballot count.

Strike votes reflect the economic and social situation of the workers who cast their ballots. What a one hundred percent strike vote tells us is that our members are hurting.

This vote no doubt reflects the mood of our membership in general and the struggles all of them are facing:

Inflation in our province outpaced every other province and territory in Canada last year. Things like skyrocketing rent, spiraling insurance premiums, and out of control electricity rates have all contributed to hard times for working people.

Nobody wants to go on strike, but these are the realities facing our members at workplaces across the province. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with the courageous workers at Cargill Case Ready because their fight now is all of our fights in the months and years to come.

When we’re strong and united, we can win!
In solidarity,
Thomas Hesse, President
Richelle Stewart, Secretary Treasurer
UFCW Local 401