Winnipeg’s Malteurop strike ends

Not everyone will return to work immediately

Workers at Winnipeg’s Malteurop barley processing plant will stop picketing after 83 days. Represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 832, the 22 employees applied for alternative dispute resolution and were ordered back to work yesterday by the Manitoba Labour Board, the union said.

Not everyone will get the chance to get back to work, though, as one of the plant’s biggest customers, Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, N.B., continues to be in lock-out. Malteurop is the sole supplier of malt for Moosehead, according to Local 832.

Over 170 Moosehead workers, represented by the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees, Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Local 362, were locked out Feb. 20. Their contract with the company expired in December 2010.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t anticipating the Moosehead lock-out, so that sort of throws a bit of a wrench in the entire situation,” says Blake Crothers, communications director with UFCW Local 832.

Crothers says that it’s unknown exactly how many workers will be returning to work, but the first people back will more than likely be maintenance and administrative staff. He adds that despite this everyone is happy to be off the picket line.

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