Labor dispute at Agropur: the dairy industry still under high pressure

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Labour dispute at Agropur: the dairy industry still under high pressure

Dairy cows in the barn.

The unlimited general strike continues at Agropur, in Granby. This labor dispute is creating enormous pressure on the Quebec dairy industry, supports the Federation of Milk Producers of Quebec.

The now crippled plant was processing about 800,000 liters of milk per day, or about 10% of Quebec's production. As the cows cannot slow down, the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec has been looking for other outlets since June 29. Last week, two million liters had to be thrown away at the start of the strike because they couldn't find takers. Since Monday, however, all the milk has been redirected elsewhere.

In factories in the Maritimes, in factories in Ontario, and even in factories in Quebec as well, all milk volumes have found takers until Thursday. I will not hide from you that the situation is very tight at the moment, supports the president of the Federation of milk producers of Quebec Daniel Gobeil.

The Agropur plant in Granby.

Agropur is also trying to do its part with its other plants, says vice-president of corporate communications Mylène Dupéré. About waste, what I can tell you is that we really do everything we can to ensure that there is as little as possible, she says.

If the conflict persists, however, the Federation may have to sacrifice further milk as of Friday.

“We haven't thrown in the towel yet. We want to find a factory for all the milk that will be produced on the farms, but at first glance, the weekend will still be a challenge. »

— Daniel Gobeil, President of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec

In this context, the Federation is asking Agropur to partially open the plant to avoid waste . The company says it is evaluating this proposal. The employees' union indicates that such a request was not communicated to it. In the meantime, the losses could be significant for milk producers if part of their production is thrown away.

When there are volumes that have revenues of 0, which have no no sale of milk, it is clear that collectively, this shortfall there will have repercussions on all the farms, on the 4643 farms in Quebec, remarks Daniel Gobeil.

The strike continues at Agropur in Granby.

After a day of meetings, negotiations with the employer are still at a standstill, says the Workers' Union.

With information from Guylaine Charette

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