Maple Leaf Foods offers to hire Syrian refugees at meat plants

EDMONTON -- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is offering to hire Syrian refugees to fill vacant jobs at two of its meat plants.

See Full Article

The company, like others in Canada's meat sector, is dealing with a chronic shortage of employees that has been exacerbated by restrictions placed on the temporary foreign worker program.

"We would be very pleased and honoured to be part of the solution in terms of helping find employment for the Syrian refugees," said Rory McAlpine, a senior vice-president at Maple Leaf.

"We have jobs available."

McAlpine said initially Maple Leaf could hire 25 refugees at its pork plant in Brandon, Man., and about 10 at its smaller operation in Lethbridge, Alta.

The company is looking for physically fit people with manufacturing experience who could be trained as general production workers and meat cutters.

The Canadian Meat Council has been urging the federal government and the provinces to do all they can to settle some of the refugees in smaller rural communities in Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada where their labour is needed.

McAlpine said the challenge for the industry is that most of the government-sponsored refugees are to be settled in major cities.

He said Maple Leaf is waiting to hear how the settlement of refugees will unfold to see how many candidates it can interview.

Federal Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said Ottawa will work to help match refugees with employers such as Maple Leaf.

"We want to help refugees engage in the local workplace," she said. "So under the refugee program we are working with immigration to ensure that some of those people are going to be placed in a community like Brandon."

McAlpine said Maple Leaf has experience dealing with foreign workers and helping them integrate into rural communities.

The company already translates its workplace and safety information into different languages and would be willing help employees learn to speak English, he added.

Syrian Muslims have dietary restrictions that do not allow them to eat pork, but there are no rules against them handling the meat.

"We already have some Muslims working in our pork plants, even though they do not consume pork. Similarly, Muslims may work in a chicken plant even if it is not producing halal chicken," he said.

McAlpine said if Maple Leaf (TSX:MFI) succeeds in hiring these first groups of refugees, more could follow.

"We are open to whatever might be available."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Airbnb drops lawsuit against NYC over new state law

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Airbnb has agreed to drop a lawsuit against New York City over a new state law it said could have deterred hosts and impaired its revenues. The settlement was reached Friday. Source
  • France pledges $30 million for wartime heritage protection

    Economic CTV News
    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- France committed $30 million toward protecting cultural heritage sites during wartime on Saturday, a first step in the creation of an international fund aimed at preventing destruction like that carried out by Islamic State militants. Source
  • The best and worst ways to budget for the holidays

    Economic CBC News
    Presents. Parties. Travel. The holidays can drain our energy, and our bank accounts — even if we try our best to prevent it. We checked in with some of Canada's top personal finance experts for their best budget tips, but also their biggest blunders, because even the smartest money-handlers know holiday pressure can lead to poor decisions. Source
  • Angry Air Miles collectors demand back points they rushed to use on 'junk'

    Economic CBC News
    On Thursday, Air Miles cancelled its controversial expiry policy. But the move is only fuelling the fury for many collectors who used their points on stuff they didn't really want to beat the clock. Source
  • Death threats and abuse for woman leading Brexit court fight

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Gina Miller is paying the price for going to court. The financial entrepreneur says she has received death threats and racial and sexual abuse since she won a High Court ruling forcing the British government to seek Parliamentary approval before leaving the European Union. Source
  • Air Miles rep: 'Options' may exist for panic redeemers

    Economic CTV News
    Air Miles Canada may have thought abandoning its unpopular expiration policy would calm the cardholder backlash from those who rushed to spend miles, but were frustrated by full flights, sold out merchandise, and long customer service delays. Source
  • Irving mill faces steep fines after being charged with polluting St. John River

    Economic CTV News
    SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Irving Pulp and Paper is facing 15 counts of polluting the St. John River at its mill near the Reversing Falls tourist attraction. An Environment Canada spokesman says Irving has been charged under federal Fisheries Act provisions on the deposit of harmful substances into fish-bearing water. Source
  • Costco investigated over allegations pharmacy directors accepted kickbacks for certain brands

    Economic CBC News
    Costco is being investigated by Ontario's Ministry of Health for its compliance with the province's legislation on selling pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs. The health ministry investigation comes after the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) announced it would hold disciplinary hearings for two Costco pharmacy directors because of allegations that they accepted Source
  • Costco to be investigated by government over compliance with drug-selling rules

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Costco is being investigated by Ontario's Ministry of Health for its compliance with the province's legislation on selling pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs. The health ministry investigation comes after the Ontario College of Pharmacists announced it would hold disciplinary hearings for two Costco pharmacy directors because of allegations that they accepted kickbacks for stocking certain brands. Source
  • United Airlines will pay US$2.4 million to settle with SEC

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The parent company of United Airlines will pay US$2.4 million to settle civil charges by securities regulators over flights that were started to help an official who oversaw one of the airline's hub airports. Source