The 200 or so union workers in Sucre Lantik, one of Canada’s largest sugar producers, voted 98% in favor of an indefinite general strike, at the General Assembly meeting in Montreal on Saturday morning.
In a statement on Saturday, employees of Quebec’s only sugar refinery said they were ready to “intensify the pressure” after 21 negotiating sessions.
“For several years, the use of subcontracting has increased dramatically in the plant. While this week we were supposed to discuss this aspect seriously, which is the main topic at the negotiating table, the employer has come back to us instead by proposing the status quo,” said Benoit Desrosiers, President of the Sucre Lantik Workers Union – CSN: “It doesn’t work.
As a result, the workers, whose collective agreement expired in May 2021, plan to strike in time.
Lantic produces more than 540,000 tons of sugar annually and has three plants across the country, in Vancouver, Tapper and Montreal.
An indefinite general strike would greatly slow down the pace of production. According to our information, the plant has a retention capacity of one week. After that, there is the danger of running out of sugar,” said Nancy Matthew, CSN General Secretary of the Trade Union.
“Other factories will not be enough to make up for the Montreal plant closure. Sucre Lantic not only produces sugar for consumers through food markets, but also supplies producers like Heinz or Barry Callebaut, which provide a large percentage of North American chocolate. Ms. Matthew added.” This blow could have major implications in many sectors.”
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