Case Ready Members Wrap Up New Agreement

Calgary, AB – February 24, 2020 – UFCW Local 401 members working at Cargill’s Case Ready plant in Calgary have voted by a strong majority to accept a new collective agreement. The agreement includes strong improvements to the working conditions affecting nearly 400 employees at the beef processing facility.

“After months of negotiating with Cargill, our bargaining committee decided to take the company’s last offer to the membership for a democratic vote,” says lead union negotiator, Devin Yeager. “The result was a strong acceptance of that offer, and for that, we are pleased for our Case Ready members.”

Among numerous improvements, the new agreement includes:

  • New protections ensuring employees are treated with dignity and respect and not retaliated against for raising workplace concerns
  • Major improvements to break times and health and safety committee programs
  • A new initiative encouraging women to participate in the apprenticeship program
  • Benefit qualification improvements
  • Numerous job level increases
  • Wage increases in each year of the contract going back to January 7, 2019.

“Our members at Cargill Case Ready deserve the very best contract they are willing to fight for,” says UFCW Local 401 President, Thomas Hesse. “We congratulate the committee for their work during negotiations, and we encourage them to continue this work every day as we prepare our efforts to make this contract even better next time.”

With thousands of members involved in the beef processing industry, a new initiative of UFCW Local 401 President, Thomas Hesse, and Secretary Treasurer, Richelle Stewart, is the establishment of the union’s first Food Processing, Packing, and Manufacturing Council, the purpose of which is to coordinate negotiations, organizing, and representational efforts across the Local Union.

The new coordinating effort will involve members from Cargill Case Ready, Cargill’s High River plant, and JBS’ Brooks plant, all of which are represented by UFCW Local 401 and handle the vast majority of Canada’s beef production.

Cargill Case Ready is a further processing meat packaging facility operated by the food processing giant, Cargill. The case-ready meat products are made by highly-skilled employees and are sold on the shelves of retail supermarkets across Western Canada.


With 32,000 members, UFCW Local 401 is Alberta’s largest and most diverse private-sector union. UFCW Local 401 members work in industries as diverse as retail, food processing, warehousing, healthcare, and education.