Union pledges to hold new management’s ‘feet to the fire’ at XL Foods (with video)

By Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald October 19, 2012

Eager to get back to work, XL Foods workers and union leaders were hopeful new management by meat packing giant JBS will help the beleaguered Brooks packing plant.

Union leaders pledged to hold the world’s biggest beef processor’s “feet to the fire” as JBS Foods prepares to take over management of the embattled XL Foods processing plant at Brooks.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401 president Doug O’Halloran said at a press conference Thursday that he views the move by the Brazilian-based JBS to assume management of the Brooks plant as a positive step. However, he said neither new management nor eventual new ownership at XL can fix what is wrong with Canada’s food safety system, which he described as “broken”.

O’Halloran said he will be pushing for JBS to include whistleblower protection in the union contract, so that workers who spot potential food safety issues feel comfortable speaking up.

He added JBS has already assured the union it will honour the existing contract XL has with its workers regarding wages and benefits, and has promised to recall all laid-off XL employees once the current CFIA investigation is complete and the plant is given the go-ahead to resume operations.

More to come.

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Original source article: Union pledges to hold new management’s ‘feet to the fire’ at XL Foods (with video)