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The Cargill plant in High River, Alta., on April 23, 2020.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

The union representing workers at one of the largest beef processing plants in Canada has given strike notice.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401 says a strike notice was delivered Wednesday to representatives of Cargill, the company that operates the facility in High River, Alta.

In a release, the union says 97 per cent of workers who voted support going on strike if an acceptable contract can’t be reached by Dec. 6.

UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse says workers want respect, recognition, a safe workplace, and fair compensation.

He says a strike could be accompanied by other actions, including the possibility of calling for a consumer boycott of the beef industry.

Daniel Sullivan, a Cargill spokesman, says the company is optimistic that an agreement can be reached at the bargaining table.

“A boycott of the beef industry itself is a possibility. Consumers could be asked to avoid the consumption of beef until Cargill workers are treated fairly,” Hesse said.

“There may be picketing and leafletting in front of other workplaces if they sell Cargill products. Albertans may even be confronted by picketing Cargill workers as they approach the drive-thru at McDonald’s.”

Cargill’s website says its High River plant employs 2,000 people who process up to 4,500 head of cattle per day.

With files from CTV.

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