Tuesday, July 8, 2008

UPDATE 1-Workers at Viterra headquarters begin strike

By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 7 (Reuters) - Workers at Viterra Inc's (VT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) headquarters went on strike on Monday to protest against the company's decision to institute a contract offer that had been voted down by unionized employees.

Nearly 200 workers at the Regina, Saskatchewan, head office of Canada's largest grain handler walked off the job, while more than 600 employees at grain elevators and other facilities across Saskatchewan took limited job action by refusing to work overtime or train replacement workers.

Viterra said its operations had not experienced problems because of the walkout.

"Things are going very well actually. We have not had any disruptions. The office is running very smoothly," said Colleen Vancha, vice-president of investor relations.

The Grain Services Union (GSU) disputed the company's claim and said the walkout by workers who maintain the internal computer, logistics and accounting operations was having an impact on Viterra.

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