Laid off workers at the shuttered meat packing plant in Brooks, Alta., are hopeful they’ll be back at work in a week.
The union representing the 2,000 XL Foods staffers received an e-mail from XL officials Monday morning indicating employees would be back to work Oct. 29, union president Doug O’Halloran said.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which recently finished an inspection of the plant after suspending XL’s licence Sept. 27, has not confirmed if and when the plant will reopen, but workers are still hopeful they’ll have their jobs back in the coming days.
“It’ll be a great relief for the workers -- the pressure they’ve been under is unbelievable,” O’Halloran said.
He said XL’s e-mail indicated staffers would be brought in Monday and Tuesday to pick up new swipe cards to get into the plant, the management of which has been transferred to JBS USA in a deal that also gives JBS the option to buy the Lakeside Packers site along with other XL facilities.
Workers were also expected to undergo training Wednesday through Friday, O’Halloran said, though it’s not clear what that training is for.
Brooks Mayor Martin Shields said the plant’s closure, after becoming the centre of Canada’s largest-ever beef recall, now totalling up to 2,000 products, has impacted many families and businesses in the city about 160 km southeast of Calgary.
“It’s going to hurt -- there’s going to be a ripple effect,” he said, adding even local car dealerships are feeling the pinch.
But on Monday, Shields said the city was filled with optimism that workers could start collecting pay cheques again next week.
“We have a lot of people who can look forward to going back to work,” he said...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
Back to News Headlines