Cargill did not hire workers during COVID-19 investigation: review

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According to a review by the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Cargill did not hire worker representation during its investigation into the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the province.

To date, there are 952 cases of COVID-19 at the High River meat processing plant, approximately 65 kilometers south of Calgary, accounting for more than 15% of all cases in Alberta. This is the largest single establishment outbreak in Canada.

Under the provincial OSH Act, employers are required to investigate in collaboration with the joint health and safety committee. In a report obtained by Postmedia, OHS investigators said that the documents provided and conversations with representatives of Cargill had revealed that they were not following the required procedure.

Thomas Hesse, President of UFCW Local 401, which represents workers at the meat processing plant, said the results have eroded staff and public confidence in Cargill’s ability to protect its 2 000 employees.

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