• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Army eyes Tyson plant strike

Help Support Ranchers.net:

rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
0
Wonder why they think it will be volient.


Army to assist in strike watch

Calgary Herald

October 11, 2005

Canada



The army will have soldiers on standby to assist police if a strike by workers at Lakeside Packers in Brooks turns violent.



About 15-hundred workers are poised to walk off the job tomorrow.



Lakeside owner Tyson Foods has said it intends to process as much beef as possible during the dispute using mostly staff members willing to cross picket lines and union leaders have predicted violence.



Police say officials with nearby Canadian Forces Base Suffield will send in soldiers if things become particularly unstable.
 

Murgen

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,108
Reaction score
0
Location
Ontario
I think part of the problem is that some workers do not want to strike. That's what is going to make it violent. The union is determined to keep those willing to work "in-line".

There is a history in Canada of unions negotiating with new packing facilities, all the while promoting strikes at other plants. As the equipment is being trucked out the back door, the Unions are telling their members they are making progress and that the workers will be soon back to work, with everything they have asked for.
 

Jason

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,994
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta Canada
The union leaders refuse to allow their membership vote on the contract offered by Tyson.

Union leaders have predicted violence.

See a pattern?
 

Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
28,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Montgomery, Al
Here's a discussion about the strike:

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=12&t=001151
 

Tam

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,759
Reaction score
0
Location
Sask
I heard on the radio this morning that 1000 workers equaling 2/3's the work force are standing by to walk over the picket lines to work. :shock: Just what is going on when 2/3's are willing to work and the union that represents them is threatening violence if they do. :roll: Looks to me as if, if the union would allow a vote this would be settled with no strike and no violence. :? :x
 

greg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,064
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta Canada
As of 6.30 this eve. the ONLY violence was when the packing plant brought in bus loads of replacement workers... the picketers didn't let the buses in.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
2,117
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Some strikers were already reporting minor injuries after a bus driven by a manager tried to enter the Lakeside Packers plant, where 2,100 workers are employed.



Tensions high as Alta.slaughterhouse strikes
CTV.ca News Staff

Tensions were high as hundreds of workers at one of Canada's largest slaughterhouses walked off the job Wednesday.

Buses tried to cross picket lines outside the Alberta slaughterhouse -- provoking scuffles that damaged vehicles and left three pickets with injuries.

But there was no sign of the serious violence that many predicted would arise during the bitter contract dispute in Brooks, Alta.

About 2,400 people, including management staff, are employed at the Lakeside Packers plant which is about about 160 km southeast of Calgary.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union says it has support from about 1,500 of those workers.

However Gary Mickelson, spokesman for U.S.-based Tyson Foods, which owns the plant, said 1,000 employees showed up at the plant Wednesday morning wanting to work.

"We have 1,000 team members who reported to work. But we told them to go home today because the picketers have blocked them off," Mickelson told CTV.ca, adding that "some of the picketers aren't even Lakeside employees. They're from other unions."

Mickelson said the company had hoped to get the workers into the plant, but that it was too concerned about the workers' safety.

The United Food and Commercial Workers said earlier Wednesday that it feared the strike could become violent if the company brought in replacement workers to fulfill its plan to keep processing as much beef as possible throughout the job action.

Hundreds of strikers were milling near the gate of the slaughterhouse when the bus tried to get through shortly after the strike began at 5:30 a.m. local time Wednesday.


Pickets surrounded it, shouting and trading insults with people inside the vehicle.

Windows on the bus were broken. The bus was blocked for about a half-hour before it turned around and left.

Later in the morning, a second bus tried to get through but also retreated after strikers flattened several of its tires and pulled off the front grill.

"We asked them (the bus) to back up and all of a sudden it started driving through the pickets," said local union president Doug O'Halloran.

"There were a couple of people that sustained minor injuries."

Mickelson said he was aware of two instances where buses were stopped by picketers at the plant's entrance and then vandalized.

He said if any picketers had sustained injuries, it was during attempts to vandalize the buses.

The RCMP said they were told three people were hurt. But RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes said, "we don't have an indication of how that occurred or the extent of it."

Meanwhile, the Mounties have called in extra officers from other detachments to keep order at the site, including an officer from British Columbia with expertise on policing labour disruptions.

O'Halloran disputed the company's suggestion that 1,000 unionized workers showed up for work.

He suggested at least 300 of them were managers and another 300 to 400 workers willing to cross the picket line.

If the workers can't get in to process the meat, Mickelson said the company may consider shipping cattle to Tyson-owned plants in the United States.

Brooks Mayor Don Weisbeck says the city will be the big loser if there's a prolonged strike.

"They slaughter 4,500 cattle a day which is, I believe, about $5 million worth of cattle a day, (and) over $1 billion a year. So you can imagine the impact on the rancher community in our area," said Weisbeck.

In Brooks, a town of 12,500, the plant employs 2,100 people. "So that in itself will tell you the impact," added Weisbeck.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union wants the company to agree to binding arbitration.

But the company wants its latest contract offer put to a vote by members of the union.

"Certain aspects of the company's offer are illegal," said O'Halloran. "We want them to change that prior to a vote."

Mickelson said Wednesday that Tyson Foods is making an application to the Alberta Labour Relations Board to limit the number of pickets at the Lakeside plant, and "enable us to safely leave the facility."

Meanwhile, a splinter group of workers wants to distance itself from the union and the strike.

The Concerned Lakeside Employees for Everyone's Rights wants the right to vote on the company's latest offer.

Lakeside Packers processes nearly 40 per cent of Canada's cattle. The union stands to lose $1.5 million a week in salaries.

With a report from CTV's Calgary affiliate, CFCN News.
 

Jason

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,994
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta Canada
I have watched some local news interviews on the strike, and they filmed the group of workers wanting to report to work. It was a large group, hundreds for sure.

The gov't labor board has said only 50 pickets could be on site, far more than that are there.

The union continues to have a violent bent on this one.

The news reporter interviewed a fellow last night he said they gave the union a chance and it hasn't done a thing for the workers. He said many workers would like to dump the union and negotiate directly with Tyson. He felt the current offer would be accepted if the membership was allowed to vote on it.

Union leader O'Halloran is posturing when he claims there are illegalities in the present offer.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
2,117
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Packing plant officials charged over car crash
CTV.ca News Staff

Two senior officials with an Alberta packing plant on strike have been charged in connection with a car crash that injured a union leader.

Garnet Altwasser, 65, and Patrick Gummeson, 52, were charged with dangerous driving.

Altwasser has been Lakeside Packers' president and CEO, and Gummeson is the manager of farm operations.

Two others -- Kaye Kronebusch, 25, and Derek Lewis, 35 -- face the same charges.

Doug O'Halloran, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, was involved in a three-car collision near the entrance to the slaughterhouse in Brooks, Alta.

While he's been released from hospital, O'Halloran was feeling too stiff and sore to comment on Saturday.

O'Halloran has also been charged with two counts of wilful damage and one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose in connection with the smashing of a bus's window transporting strikebreakers across the picket line on Wednesday.

There were conflicting accounts of what caused the crash, which happened near the entrance of Lakeside Packers.

While some allege that plant managers ran O'Halloran's vehicle off the road, others say he crashed it while trying to avoid being served with legal papers.

Just hours before the accident, O'Halloran called on Alberta to force Lakeside Packers into binding arbitration "before someone gets seriously hurt."

One union member had videotaped the crash aftermath. The footage showed O'Halloran's sport utility vehicle heavily damaged on the front and side, and the union leader being treated by paramedics.

The news comes as police investigate allegations of assault, property damage, and use of weapons after confrontations on the picket line.

The walkout began Wednesday as the union fights for a first contract. The company closed the plant for the weekend.

Lakeside won an injunction Saturday from a Court of Queen's Bench judge limiting the number of picketers at any one time to 50. The court order also prevents strikers from attempting to stop any vehicle entering or leaving the plant's grounds.

Saturday's ruling will allow the RCMP to make arrests.

About 2,400 people, including management staff, are employed at the plant, which is about 160 km southeast of Calgary.

The dispute between the two sides has dragged on for months and intensified recently when Tyson rejected a provincial arbitrator's recommended proposal for a settlement.

The company said the proposal would have resulted in unacceptable labour cost increases.

The union says the company's offer is an insult to their wages, seniority, working conditions and benefits.

The union wants the company to agree to binding arbitration, but the company wants its latest contract offer put to a vote by the union.

Lakeside Packers processes nearly 40 per cent of Canada's cattle. The union stands to lose $1.5 million a week in salaries.
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
Just a couple of quick questions about this packing plant. Were there any strikes at this plant before this date that were so violent? What is the history of packing plant strikes and unrest and under whose management? Do other industries in Canada have the same problems? Jason, is this the same plant that you were saying had problems with management before?
 

Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
28,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Montgomery, Al
Econ101 said:
Just a couple of quick questions about this packing plant. Were there any strikes at this plant before this date that were so violent? What is the history of packing plant strikes and unrest and under whose management? Do other industries in Canada have the same problems? Jason, is this the same plant that you were saying had problems with management before?

Tyson is known for "Union" worker unrest at several of their packing plants.

I have no idea whether it's the fault of the unions or of Tyson's but other packers don't seem to have as many problems.

http://www.laborresearch.org/story.php?id=70
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
Mike said:
Econ101 said:
Just a couple of quick questions about this packing plant. Were there any strikes at this plant before this date that were so violent? What is the history of packing plant strikes and unrest and under whose management? Do other industries in Canada have the same problems? Jason, is this the same plant that you were saying had problems with management before?

Tyson is known for "Union" worker unrest at several of their packing plants.

I have no idea whether it's the fault of the unions or of Tyson's but other packers don't seem to have as many problems.

http://www.laborresearch.org/story.php?id=70

I am totally well aware of that, Mike. I just wanted to know if this was the same plant that Jason had commented on before about was treating its employees bad and that it might be a good thing that Tyson bought it. Sorry I know so little about the Canadian beef packing plant history.
 

Jason

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,994
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta Canada
I never said anyhting about a plant treating employees badly. Others complain workers at all slaughter plants are treated badly.

This is the first time a union has represented workers at Lakeside. They have operated since the late 70's without one.

All other slaughter plants in Alberta have had unions and had ugly strikes.

The union leaders in this one won't let membership vote on Tyson's offer, which is higher wages than a gov't mediator suggested, and which the union accepted. One of they key sticking points for Tyson is having the contract expire at the same time as other Alberta plants.

Many workers interviewed on the news said they gave the union a chance but aren't happy with what has/has not been done for them. They said Tyson has been good to work for and the union only is costing them money.

Alberta is not very eager on unions. Unions are traditionally left wing while the province is right wing.

Today the strikers have been put on notice that they cannot break the law while picketing. No preventing vehicles from entering the plant. They are stopping them for 5 minutes.

In 1986 Gainers was broke by the union, demands were too high we lost that plant after a years strike.
 

frenchie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
564
Reaction score
0
Location
nw manitoba
Jason said:
In 1986 Gainers was broke by the union, demands were too high we lost that plant after a years strike.

Jason...What ever happened to that plant afterwards?Who ended up with it.
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
Jason:
The union leaders in this one won't let membership vote on Tyson's offer, which is higher wages than a gov't mediator suggested, and which the union accepted. One of they key sticking points for Tyson is having the contract expire at the same time as other Alberta plants.

Tyson knows that the games it plays are economic games. The last sentence shows their economist's at work. Unions will have less bargaining power (an economic term) if the contracts do not end at the same time. I would suppose this is the real issue.

Jason, would you work at one of those packing plants given the conditions of Tyson's offer and the jobs available?[/quote]
 

blackjack

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
118
Reaction score
0
Location
west central Alberta
...frenchie...after peter (the puck) pocklington went broke ...the alberta government was left holding the bill and as far as i remember the plant closed down... i read somewhere this past year the alberta taxpayer was still paying down on the debt that was left...that is one of the reasons(there has been others) as a person living here in alberta we always hear the phrase from the govt "the alberta govt will not be in the business of doing business"...in either words they want to stay clear of high risk investments...
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
blackjack said:
...frenchie...after peter (the puck) pocklington went broke ...the alberta government was left holding the bill and as far as i remember the plant closed down... i read somewhere this past year the alberta taxpayer was still paying down on the debt that was left...that is one of the reasons(there has been others) as a person living here in alberta we always hear the phrase from the govt "the alberta govt will not be in the business of doing business"...in either words they want to stay clear of high risk investments...

Frenchie,

The same thing happened in Mississippi under gov. Haley Barber. The state of MS. has to pay about 45 million on that deal. Robert Mac, do you have additional info on this one? Governments that back particular industry players do not let free markets work properly and the economy does not work at its peak efficiency. Although there is some sound economic reasons for governments to do this kind of activity, it should NEVER be allowed by those with substantial market power.

There are a couple of Supreme Court appeals on in the U. S. on allowing companies to pit governments (state against state or city against city) against each other to compete for businesses. It happens too often in the U.S.. Businesses should be in the business to make money, not make governments compete their tax liability or their capitalization costs away. The reason it happens so much in the U.S. is the corporate money given to politicians (read any Enron story). We all pay when that happens.

SH, when this happens it really is the socialism you have alluded to in some of your other posts. Has Tyson ever gained tax or capitalization concessions from any federal, state or local government? Be careful, I already know the answer to this one and it supports what I have posted in this post.
 

frenchie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
564
Reaction score
0
Location
nw manitoba
blackjack said:
...frenchie...after peter (the puck) pocklington went broke ...the alberta government was left holding the bill and as far as i remember the plant closed down... i read somewhere this past year the alberta taxpayer was still paying down on the debt that was left...that is one of the reasons(there has been others) as a person living here in alberta we always hear the phrase from the govt "the alberta govt will not be in the business of doing business"...in either words they want to stay clear of high risk investments...

Was that not a fairly new facilty?.
 

frenchie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
564
Reaction score
0
Location
nw manitoba
Econ101 said:
blackjack said:
...frenchie...after peter (the puck) pocklington went broke ...the alberta government was left holding the bill and as far as i remember the plant closed down... i read somewhere this past year the alberta taxpayer was still paying down on the debt that was left...that is one of the reasons(there has been others) as a person living here in alberta we always hear the phrase from the govt "the alberta govt will not be in the business of doing business"...in either words they want to stay clear of high risk investments...

Frenchie,

Governments that back particular industry players do not let free markets work properly and the economy does not work at its peak efficiency. Although there is some sound economic reasons for governments to do this kind of activity, it should NEVER be allowed by those with substantial market power.



.

Goverments need to stay out of free enterprise.
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
frenchie said:
Econ101 said:
blackjack said:
...frenchie...after peter (the puck) pocklington went broke ...the alberta government was left holding the bill and as far as i remember the plant closed down... i read somewhere this past year the alberta taxpayer was still paying down on the debt that was left...that is one of the reasons(there has been others) as a person living here in alberta we always hear the phrase from the govt "the alberta govt will not be in the business of doing business"...in either words they want to stay clear of high risk investments...

Frenchie,

Governments that back particular industry players do not let free markets work properly and the economy does not work at its peak efficiency. Although there is some sound economic reasons for governments to do this kind of activity, it should NEVER be allowed by those with substantial market power.



.

Goverments need to stay out of free enterprise.

I agree, except to enforce the rules of the games that promote free markets. Enron is a perfect example of this not happening as is the California energy privatization fiasco, the Revco futures trading scam and many others. Governments should be able to enforce sanctions to bring about justice but our current system does not do this efficiently. Free enterprise ONLY works when fair rules are enforced. Period. Using the "free enterprise" excuse for concentrated commodities will only lead to market power and a reduction of efficiency in the marketplace. It won't be a free market for long under those circumstances. All of the producer profit will be confiscated through market power. It happened in the 1800s with the robber barons and it is happening today.

Good luck, Frenchie. I hope you get all the producer surplus you can get.
 

Latest posts

Top