After two million liters of milk wasted last month, the strike by 250 workers at the Agropur plant in Granby is wasting millions of dollars in cheese by-products.
After the strike began on June 29 at the Agropur plant in Granby, producers had to throw away more than two million liters of milk.
They’ve now managed to sell their milk to other factories in Ontario and Quebec, but they’re still losing some cheese by-products that some of those factories can’t process.
“We don’t throw that into the environment, it’s biomethanized. This is lost revenue for the producers. We’re talking millions of dollars,” laments Daniel Gobeil, President of the Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ).
“We are forced to buy by-products from certain factories, such as buttermilk,” explains Mr. Gobeil, who wrote a letter to the president of Agropur and the factory’s union leader yesterday.
For the union chairman of the Granby plant, Daniel Chaput, the ball is in the Agropur warehouse, which is putting work and family life to the test.
“Employees are being asked to forget their families and really be available 40 hours a week, 24 hours a day,” explains the man who has worked at the factory for 42 years, pointing to the factory behind him.
When Daniel Chaput is asked to wet himself with food waste, he says he regrets it and points to the management party.
“We had the strike vote in April. We are on June 29th. The employer was aware that something was going to happen,” replies the cheese analyst, who basically wants a quick agreement.
at protocolhe stresses: Amidst the labor shortage, Agropur must do more not to lose its employees, as is the case with a dozen of its colleagues who have already found what they need elsewhere.
“Some people get bored,” he warns.
At Agropur we also say that we “take care of waste”.
“We are aware of the pressure that is being put on milk producers in this conflict. They are our members and owners of the cooperative,” emphasizes Mylène Dupéré, Vice President Corporate Communications.
“We want a speedy return to work and the continuation of talks to find a fair and just settlement,” she added.
At the Granby plant, wages range from $29.07 to $32.48 an hour, the cooperative recalls. In addition, there would be social benefits and a holiday of up to six weeks, it is said.