XL Foods workers left waiting
Published Friday, October 5, 2012 6:53AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 5, 2012 6:39PM MDT
While XL Foods says it is doing all it can to improve food safety at its Brooks plant as well as taking full responsibility for the recall, the workers say they are getting left behind.
Only maintenance workers, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors, and a few vendors are able to come and go from the facility.
The plant has been closed since last Thursday afternoon and workers at the plant have been given little information on when they can expect to return to work.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told an Ottawa press conference that the Brooks plants won’t be open again until he is notified by the CFIA.
The comments echo what he said earlier in the week; that he wants to be told in writing from CFIA president George Da Pont that the plant is safe.
In the meantime, 2,200 employees are left waiting for news.
Glenn Adorable says that the closure is putting stress on the household finances. “It’s a fiancial burden. More bills coming, credit cards, rent, insurance on my car. Everything’s going to get worse.”
Edwin, a quality assurance officer at the plant says he wants food to be safe, but he is worried about his family’s future too.
“We are really financially unstable right now due to the fact that we have a problem."
There aren’t any answers from XL and CTV couldn’t get in contact with anyone at the plant.
XL did have a statement they released on Thursday where they say they will reopen whenever they are allowed to, stating with a limited production run.
Francesco Turjillo says he quit his job at XL because of an increasing culture of “production first”, where the company ramped up production drastically while he was there – from 1,500 to 2,300 cows per shift.
“I was expecting this would happen sometime at XL because the first priority there is production, production.”
Employees are left sitting by their radios every morning – the only method the company uses to tell the workers if the plant is clear or not.
John Petrie of Newcap Radio says the company has a meeting at 6 a.m. and they tell him the result of whether or not the plant is open. “He’ll get ahold of me at 6:15 and we’ll put the announcement on the air.”
The union who represents the plant’s workers has written a formal letter requesting workers be paid because the shut down is not their fault.
The unions says they have not yet heard from XL.