GUELPH, ONTARIO — The Cargill Dunlop plant in Guelph, Ontario, resumed operations following a 41-day strike. On July 6, 960 unionized employees from the beef facility ratified a new collective agreement with Cargill.

The workers, who are represented by the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 175, initiated the strike on May 27 after rejecting the company’s original deal.

“It is a tough decision to go on strike, and it can be an even more difficult decision to end a strike,” said Kelly Tosato, president of UFCW Local 175. “But these members took a stand against a huge corporation, and they should be proud of their strength and courage.”

The new deal meets workers’ demand for a pay increase, specifically an additional $3.75 per hour over the course of the agreement, which includes $2 per hour in the first year. The $2 will be paid retroactively for all hours worked — including overtime — since Jan. 1, 2024. Additionally, workers will receive a contract renewal incentive payment of $500.

Cargill agreed to increase dental coverage to $2,000 per year as well as allot five days for bereavement leave for the death of a spouse, child or parent, up from four days. Other improved benefits include greater Short Term Disability coverage when on leave.

UFCW Local 175 noted that as workers return this week, full hours may not be immediately available for all members. The union plans to continue pro-rated strike pay for the first week to those not receiving full hours.

"Cargill is pleased to have reached an agreement with the union that our Guelph employees have ratified," a Cargill spokesperson told MEAT+POULTRY. "The agreement, which is comprehensive, fair and market competitive, reflects the critical role they play in feeding families across Canada. We believe this positive outcome is in the best interests of our employees, customers and producers and are eager to move forward to build a stronger future together."