Unifor members working for Viterra Canada go on strike in Bécancour

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Six people wearing red Unifor shirts hold up a large red Unifor flag outsite on the grass in front of a building

The 85 members of Local 2022 working at Viterra Canada's canola and soybean processing and refining plant in Bécancour began strike action on May 26, following a unanimous strike vote taken earlier in the month.

The workers are denouncing the inadequacy of the employer's proposals after eight fruitless negotiation sessions.

‘After eight sessions of negotiations, it is clear that the employer's monetary offer is simply inadequate. The proposed wage increases fall far short of our members' expectations. What's more, there is virtually no improvement in terms of leave or holidays. We have already had to turn down numerous demands from the employer for concessions,’ says Marc-André Paré, national representative for Unifor Québec. 

“Our members lost about 5% of their purchasing power to inflation over the life of the last agreement, and the employer refuses to take that into account. Since the beginning of its acquisition of the Bécancour plant, the employer has shown a constant lack of respect towards its employees. This is why the executive committee chose the theme of respect from the outset of negotiations. The plant has experienced many difficulties since it was commissioned in 2010, and it is thanks to the hard work of our members, despite the obstacles, that the employer is now profitable and boasts production records. We want our fair share of this success,’ said Paré.

The president of Local 2022, Maxime Bornais, expressed his dissatisfaction with the current situation: ‘Although negotiations took place in a generally positive climate, we were surprised by the series of refusals on monetary issues. The wage offer put forward by the employer is grossly inadequate given the rise in the cost of living over the last few years. The employer is willfully blind in considering its offers to be competitive at a time when the battery industry is developing in Bécancour.

About Unifor 

Unifor is Canada's largest private sector union, representing more than 320,000 workers in all major sectors of the economy. The union defends all workers and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create better and safer working conditions for all.

For further information: Véronique Figliuzzi, Communications Officer, Unifor-Québec, @email

Media Contact

Véronique Figliuzzi

Communications Representative - Québec