Ultima Foods declares a lockout at Granby plant



    LONGUEUIL, Sept. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Ultima Foods management declared a
lockout at the company's Granby plant at 10:30 pm today. Discussions to renew
the union agreement affecting its Granby employees, which expired on March 3,
2008, have been underway since early February. Ultima Foods employs 254 union
employees at its Granby plant. The company's negotiations team has held 16
meetings with the union representatives. On August 26 the discussions were
held on a final offer remodelled from another global and final offer submitted
on April 16. No agreement was concluded.
    Since August 26 no further talks have been held and various pressure
tactics have been imposed by the union including a 24 hour "Study Day" taken
without notice on September 3. Ultima Foods has also noted that various pieces
of equipment at its Granby plant have been vandalized since August 23. Given
this situation, the company had no other choice but to declare a lockout.
    It should be noted that as part of its final, revised offer providing for
a 5-year job contract, the company worked hard at the bargaining table in the
past few months in the hopes of coming to an agreement. It should be noted
that a union worker average hourly rate at the Granby plant is $22.59/hour.
Ultima Foods offers working conditions that are superior to most players in
the manufacturing industry and specifically, to other yogourt manufacturers in
Quebec.
    In the past 5 years, the number of union employees working at the
company's Granby plant alone has increased by almost 38%. Moreover, the last
union agreement had a 4 year term and no production interruptions due to
pressure tactics have occurred since 1996.
    As part of Ultima Foods' ongoing commitment to serving its food chain
clients, its food service clients and consumers, the company is maintaining
its production activities with the cooperation of its Granby plant management
team.




For further information:

For further information: Diane Jubinville, Director of Public and
Consumer Relations, Ultima Foods, (450) 651-3737, ext. 3288, Cell: (514)
714-3318

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