Labour rights

Workers compensation

Workers compensation coverage is not mandatory for factory farms. In some cases employees are injured on the job end up with long-term problems that are then considered “pre-existing medical conditions” if they seek medical insurance or compensation for a subsequent injury later in life.

Labour standards

Workers in factory farms in many provinces are excluded from labour laws that apply to other industrial workers, as companies take advantage of exemptions designed decades ago for family farms that employed hired hands.


Wages are low and turn-over high at factory farms. Only one intensive hog operation in all of North America--Bear Hills, Saskatchewan-- has ever been unionized. This was accomplished after a long struggle.

In 2004 the Tyson meatpacking plant in Brooks, AB became unionized. Workers had to strike in 2005 in order to get a first contract. The strike was one of the most acrimonious in recent Canadian history.

Meat_Packers_2002.pdf36.73 KB