Statement On Recommended Offer at Cargill

On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, our Cargill Bargaining Committee engaged in a marathon day of negotiations with Cargill in an effort to achieve a recommended settlement of offer for a contract with our Cargill union members. Late in the evening, our Bargaining Committee concluded that they were in receipt of a fair offer and that they were prepared to present that offer to their coworkers with a recommendation of acceptance.

The Company’s new offer is a dramatic improvement from the offer that union members saw last week and will significantly improve Cargill workers’ lives. If ratified, the offer would be the best food processing contract in Canada, thanks entirely to the strength and determination of Cargill union members in seeking justice.

Respecting our Cargill members’ need to review the contents of the offer first and the process in which they will be engaging over the coming days, we are not releasing an exhaustive outline of the offer. However, significant highlights from the offer include:

  • As much as $4,200 in retroactive pay for many Cargill union members
  • A $1,000 signing bonus
  • A $1,000 COVID-19 bonus
  • A more than a $6,000 total bonus for many members 3 weeks before Christmas
  • A $5.00 wage increase (21% over the contract) for many employees that is well above industry standards
  • Improved health benefits (psychology, massage therapy, etc.) for Cargill workers and their families
  • Significant contract provisions to facilitate a new culture of health, safety, dignity, and respect in the workplace

“This has been a long and difficult journey for our Cargill members,” said UFCW Local 401 President Thomas Hesse. “They have stood strong and demanded justice, and I’m happy to see that our Bargaining Committee finally feels that something fair has been proposed.”

“Personally, I have mixed feelings about this,” continued Hesse. “Our members may or may not accept the offer. If they don’t, I’ll join them on the picket lines in solidarity and on strike. If they do accept it, I’ll work with them every day to make Cargill a better workplace. I will do as our members ask me to do. I respect all of the emotions that they feel and the suffering that they have experienced.”

In the coming days, Cargill union members will be considering the offer, their Bargaining Committee’s recommendation, and voting on whether to accept or reject Cargill’s newest offer. UFCW Local 401 stands with our Cargill union members in making the best decision for them and their families.

“As an open and democratic organization, we do what our members tell us to do,” said Secretary Treasurer Richelle Stewart. “Whether they wish to strike or settle, our union will have Cargill workers’ backs.”