It’s High Noon for Canadian Beef In Cargill Showdown With Union

(Bloomberg) — U.S. meatpacking giant Cargill Inc. and union workers at one of Canada’s biggest beef plants are bracing for a showdown, with talks early next week offering up a chance to break a labor impasse that threatens to upend the country’s meat supply.Cargill is scheduled to meet union representatives from its beef processing plant in High River, Alberta on Tuesday in what’s likely to be a final attempt to reach a deal on a new labor contract for about 2,000 workers. The stakes are high: Cargill’s facility accounts for roughly 40% of Canadian beef processing capacity, so any threats of a strike or lockout could disrupt the nation’s meat supply when beef prices are already soaring amid supply chain snags.Cargill’s last offer included a 19% wage hike over the course of the five-year contract, plus a one-time C$1,200 ($940) bonus. That was rejected on Nov. 24 by workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union Local 401. The union has since said the plant workers will go on strike at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6 unless a deal can be reached. Cargill responded with the threat of locking out employees on that date, and shifting production to other facilities to avoid disruption. Read More