Maple Leaf workers still waiting on agreement as clock counts down

The collective agreement for workers at Maple Leaf Foods’ Brandon plant is set to expire Dec. 31

The clock is ticking for negotiators to come up with a new collective agreement for workers at Brandon’s Maple Leaf Foods plant.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 has been in negotiations with the company since June. The collective agreement between Maple Leaf Foods and the 1,900 workers represented by the union is set to expire at the end of the year.

“It’s been a really long, long sled,” union president Jeff Traeger said in November, after the union and company reached a tentative agreement.

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The bargaining committee was, “very, very happy with the deal we’ve managed to put together,” Traeger said at the time.

Union members did not agree. Members voted 65 per cent to reject the deal during a meeting in Brandon Dec. 2.

The union would not go into any detail on its priorities during the negotiations or contents of the rejected agreement.

“The bargaining committee is working out the next steps and will be communicating with our members as soon as there is an update,” Traeger said in an emailed statement to the Manitoba Co-operator.

The collective agreement is set to expire at midnight Dec. 31.

Maple Leaf Foods could not be reached for comment.

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Alexis Stockford

Alexis Stockford is a journalist and photographer with the Manitoba Co-operator. She previously reported with the Morden Times and was news editor of  campus newspaper, The Omega, at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She grew up on a mixed farm near Miami, Man.

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