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Martensville, Sask.– September 18, 2014 – Dozens of community and family members joined UFCW Canada Local 1400 members at a picket line barbeque outside the Richardson Milling plant near Martensville, Saskatchewan on September 16. The barbeque came on the seventh day following the lockout of 34 members at the oat milling plant, after the membership overwhelmingly rejected the company's last offer, and after the company refused to consider a revised offer from the bargaining committee. As of the date of publication, no future bargaining meetings had been scheduled.
"We're ready to get back to bargaining, but we're also more than ready to hold the line to get a fair contract," said Norm Neault, the president of UFCW Canada Local 1400. "On August 28, the membership made their resolve very clear with a strike vote that was just about unanimous. So when the lockout came, we were ready. The company shouldn't underestimate us. The members are united, they have the additional backing of the UFCW Canada National Defence Fund, and the overwhelming support of the local community."
Richardson Milling is owned by Richardson International — Canada's largest privately owned agri-business and part of a thriving family-owned conglomerate with over $6 billion in annual revenue. "This is a very successful corporation which owns a very successful mill that supplies oats to a number of the largest food and cereal brands in Canada," says Brother Neault. "The members make that possible and in return expect a fair contract, with predictable rates and pay scales that reflect industry standards for similar work across Saskatchewan."
To get latest updates on the lockout and to find more about Saskatchewan's leading private-sector local union, visit ufcw1400.ca.