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Alberta NDP urging province to shut down Cargill plant

Last Updated May 12, 2020 at 6:19 am MST

Cargill announced a temporary shut down of its beef plant near High River where officials in the area are dealing with over 400 cases of COVID-19 linked to the plant, including the death of a worker, in High River, Alta., Thursday, April 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — Alberta’s Opposition NDP wants the province to shut down Cargill’s-meat processing plant near High River until it meets legal requirements to engage workers on safety.

An Occupational Health and Safety report says Cargill didn’t engage its workers in an internal review last month about the circumstances that led to over 950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one employee death.

Labour critic Christina Gray says the United Conservative government has failed to keep Cargill employees safe by not including them in coming up with a solution before the plant reopened.

She says the plant should be shut down immediately until that happens.

A spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 401 says he expects Cargill will be seeking a lot of union input before the May 18th deadline.

But Michael Hughes says the plant should not have reopened when workers don’t feel safe.