Workers at Viterra Could Strike Friday

Viterra has suggested workers could be locked out if an agreement isn’t reached.

Employees at Viterra, a Canadian grain handler, may strike starting Friday afternoon, following a 72-hour notice issued on Tuesday by the Grain and General Services Union (GSU), representing 436 workers in Regina and Saskatoon. Bargaining meetings between the union and Viterra commenced on Wednesday, facilitated by a federally appointed mediator, with further discussions scheduled for Thursday.

GSU’s key bargaining points, as shared by spokesperson Steve Torgerson, include dependable wage increases, enhanced work-life balance, and improved workplace health and safety. The union conveyed a cautiously optimistic stance to its members, emphasizing readiness for various outcomes.

Viterra said in a press release that the company “may also consider a lockout in the event an agreement cannot be reached” before the 2 p.m. strike deadline on Friday.

Jordan Jakubowski, Viterra Canada’s VP of Human Resources, expressed a commitment to the bargaining process and optimism about reaching an agreement with the GSU. The company highlighted its dedication to employee safety, competitive compensation, and benefits, and mentioned having contingency plans to limit customer service impact in case of a work stoppage.

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