CMC warns of labour shortage

CMC warns of labour shortage

The Canadian Meat Council has warned local meat packers are being hit by a labour shortage that is restricting production as the debate in the country over foreign workers rages.

The sector body warned that "Canadian hogs and cattle are being shipped to the United States for processing and packaging" because meat packers are unable to operate at full capacity.

As a result, "Canada is forced to import meat products from outside the country", the CMC argued.

"The challenges being faced by the meat sector value chain are severe and acute. We need more workers now, and are actively recruiting in communities across Canada," the CMC said.

The Canadian meat industry relies heavily on foreign workers allowed to take employment in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

However, the programme has become a highly debated political issue in Canada and the Federal Government is bent on reforming the TFW to "ensure Canadians" are given "the first chance" at available jobs.

Rebuffing arguments against the use of foreign workers, the CMC said: "Absent a sufficient number of Canadian workers, our sector has been saved by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These workers do not displace Canadians in our facilities, nor are they paid less than Canadians. All our employees are paid equal wages for equal jobs - and as much as 35% more than what is paid by our US competitors."