On the Picket Line

Meatpackers in Quebec strike for higher wages

By Lynda Little
and Annette Kouri
December 2, 2019

PRINCEVILLE, Quebec — Some 350 meatpackers at Olymel’s pork kill and cut plant here have been on strike since Oct. 29, demanding higher wages like at other Olymel plants in Quebec. The workers are members of the Confederation of National Trade Unions.

The company’s wage offer of 40 cents per hour raise in the first year and 30 cents for each of the next five years is “insulting,” Steve Houle, president of the CSN union at Princeville, told the Militant.

Bosses closed the plant in 2004 for a year and a half, and then reopened it with a wage cut of $5.40 an hour.

On Nov. 13 strikers protested in front of the Olymel headquarters in Saint-Hyacinthe. A week earlier they demonstrated in front of the Drummondville Olymel plant, where workers recently won a wage raise after a two-hour strike.