Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Viterra employees called to weigh in on company's latest offer

Viterra Regina headquarters Albert Street snow

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Viterra employees decide to suspend the strike threat they had announced for Friday, pending the results of a ratification vote on the latest offer presented by the company.

In a press release, the Saskatchewan Grain Services Union says its leaders have determined that it is in the interest of members to vote on Viterra's final offer.

It is Viterra's 436 employees who will decide in the coming weeks whether they accept the latest collective agreement offer made by Viterra on Thursday evening.

At Friday morning's meeting, leaders from both locals decided that the company's January final offer was different enough from November's for members to decide for themselves. p>

The decision to suspend the strike action is a strategic decision aimed at giving our members the opportunity to participate in the democratic process and make their voice heard through a ratification vote.

A quote from Steve Torgerson, General Secretary (press release)

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Steve Torgerson did not want to comment on the content of the negotiations.

I won't talk about what's in it or what changes were made to it. But there have been changes since the last offer, he admits. The union trusts its members. They are the ones who elected us. They are therefore the ones who will decide whether this offer is acceptable or not.

The union says it recognizes the members' frustration, however. It concluded that, during the period leading up to the ratification vote, employees will not go on legal strike.

With our members, we will examine the final offer. But while we do it, we will do the bare minimum, says the union's general secretary.

It's a way of protesting, to tell the employer that he must do better, because so far it is unacceptable. Overtime will be voluntary. People won't answer the phone on the weekend.

Employees are demanding, among other things, higher remuneration and working conditions that would allow them to better reconcile their personal and professional lives.

For its part, Viterra declares to offer its staff competitive salaries and a good working environment.

Ratification votes will begin in the coming days and ballots will be counted on January 19, 2024. If the offer is not accepted, employees will go on strike on January 20.

This week, Viterra and the Saskatchewan Grain Services Union resumed negotiations with a government-appointed mediator.

Viterra is one of North America's leading grain and oilseed marketers and distributors, headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan.

With information from Coralie Hodgson

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