This morning, workers returned to North America’s single worst workplace outbreak of coronavirus: the Cargill meat packing plant in High River.
The plant officially opened on Monday--the same day as the funeral for Bui Thi Hiep, the first worker at the plant to die from the virus. But today is when the full workforce returns. By now nearly half of the entire staff of the plant has tested positive for COVID-19, but the plant owners and the UCP government maintain that the workplace is not dangerous. The bereaved might argue otherwise.Read more
Hundreds of Cargill workers haven’t been paid in weeks despite promises to pay workers during shutdown
The Cargill meatpacking plant in High River re-opened this week after the largest COVID-19 outbreak in North America infected nearly half of the 2000 people who work at the plant. But despite promises from Cargill to pay workers during the shutdown, workers haven’t been paid--some for weeks.Read more
Filipinos in Alberta are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 in Alberta as outbreaks in meatpacking plants and continuing care facilities hit our province. Around 60-80% of the workers in the Cargill meatpacking plant, the largest workplace outbreak in Canada, are Filipino. And now they're feeling unfairly blamed because of the government's and even Dr. Deena Hinshaw's statements on the matter. We talk about this and the Healthcare for All campaign with Migrante Alberta director Marco Luciano.Read more
Paul Walker is the former pension fund manager for ATCO. While at ATCO, he oversaw $3.1 billion in pension plan assets with responsibilities that included asset allocation, investment manager selection/monitoring, asset/liability/risk management, oversight of operational policies and procedures including legal, audit, tax and custody relationships. Paul is now the Principal of Premia Mgmt, a family office advisor. This is an edited version of a letter sent to Finance Minister Travis Toews by Mr. Walker. This letter is written on behalf of friends, family and colleagues who have pensions managed by AIMCo but who are unable to speak out.Read more
Progress Report #214
Your weekly update on Alberta politics for April 28, 2020
If you’ve been wondering why teachers and other public sector workers are outraged that the UCP are handing control of their pensions to AIMCO, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, there were plenty of explanations in the news last week.Read more
Learn how Alberta's most incompetent pension fund manager, AIMCo, vapourized $4 billion of pensioner's and Heritage Trust Fund money and how they've shovelled more than $1.1 billion towards likely to fail oil and gas companies with more than $3 billion in environmental liabilities.
Our guest this week is Greg Meeker, former chair of the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund, and one of Alberta's most knowledgeable and outspoken commentators on pensions.Read more
I understand the love for Dr. Deena Hinshaw but her "mistakes happen" approach to the unnecessary meatpacking COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southern Alberta is shameful and requires serious reflection.Read more
The Cargill Foods meat packing plant in High River, Alta. employs 2,000 people and is responsible for processing 4,500 heads of cattle per day, more than one-third Canada’s total. It is home to the largest COVID-19 outbreak in Alberta. Here’s what we know.Read more
The largest meat packing plant in Canada, the JBS Food Canada facility in Brooks, Alberta, has reduced its operations from two shifts to one shift after a significant portion of workers refused to show up due to COVID-19 concerns.Read more
Last week the NDP and UFCW 401 warned that a coronavirus outbreak was underway at the Cargill meat packing plant in High River, urging Cargill to immediately put the facility staff on paid leave and stop the spread of infection.
Jason Kenney and the UCP, siding with the plant owners over the plant workers, called these warnings alarmist and refused to act. UCP MLA Roger Reid, who represents the Livingstone-Macleod constituency that contains High River, ranted last Thursday that “the misinformation and fear-mongering being put out by the Leader of the Official Opposition is dishonest to hard working Albertans and denigrates the work being done by the Cargill facility to protect their employees.”Read more