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

  • Sold! 'Tennis ball-sized' diamond fetches $66M at auction

    Economic CTV News
    A tennis ball-sized rough diamond, said to be the second largest gem-quality example ever found, fetched nearly $66 million (US$53 million) for a Vancouver-based diamond producer on Monday. Lucara Diamond Corp. unearthed the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona stone at its Karowe mine in Botswana nearly two years ago. Source
  • Ivanka Trump's business ties shrouded in secrecy in China

    Economic CTV News
    SHANGHAI -- It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump's merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, an Associated Press investigation has found. Source
  • Reports say ride-sharing service Uber could stop operations in Quebec, possibly today

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Published reports say ride-hailing company Uber could be about to cease operations in Quebec. Reports in Montreal La Presse and the Journal de Montreal say the company could make an announcement as early as today because of new rules governing the service announced last Friday. Source
  • Freshii scales back growth plan for first year as public company

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Freshii restaurant chain says its growth has been slower than expected, resulting in the closure of some stores and a reduced target for net openings this year. The revised outlook was announced late Monday after shares of the Toronto-based company (TSX:FRII) closed at $8.86. Source
  • Bombardier faces possible double blow to its aerospace, railway businesses

    Economic CBC News
    Bombardier faces the prospect of a double barrel of bad news today affecting its commercial aircraft and railway businesses. The first hit on the Canadian company could come from Europe early Tuesday morning with the announcement of a possible deal to merge Germany's railway manufacturer Siemens with Alstom of France. Source
  • Bombardier's bad day: locked out of European rail merger & facing CSeries duties in U.S.

    Economic CBC News
    Bombardier faces the prospect of a double barrel of bad news today affecting its commercial aircraft and railway businesses. The first hit on the Canadian company could come from Europe early Tuesday morning with the announcement of a possible deal to merge Germany's railway manufacturer Siemens with Alstom of France. Source
  • Listen up, girls: a tech career isn't just for gamers and AI enthusiasts

    Economic CBC News
    Although Katie Meyer, 19, has considered a career in technology, she isn't sure it's in the cards for her. Three years ago, when she was 16, her mother enrolled her in a coding camp for girls. Source
  • Canada pushing for inclusion of strong labour standards in NAFTA

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - Canada is pushing for the inclusion of enforceable, progressive labour standards in a rewritten North American Free Trade Agreement, aimed at compelling Mexico to pay workers higher wages and do away with so-called "yellow" unions that represent employers rather than employees. Source
  • Federal government should scale back spending on water, sewage systems: report

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - A new report from a bipartisan think-tank says the federal government should scale back its spending on water and sewage systems in Canadian cities for each community's financial good. The Ecofiscal Commission report being released today makes the case that the fees homeowners pay for the water running through their taps and down their drains don't cover the full cost of service, leading to gaps in funding that upper levels of government have been trying to fill for years. Source
  • Asian stocks little changed after Wall Street tumble

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - Asian stocks were little changed Tuesday as investors watched U.S.-North Korean tensions after a decline in tech shares dragged down Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 per cent to 20,377.29 points while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,340.53. Source