Ammonia Leak at Fearmans Pork Inc. in Burlington

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March 9, 2023

This morning, March 9, 2023, an ammonia leak occurred at the Fearman’s Pork Inc (Sofina Foods) facility in Burlington.

Sixteen* members were treated on site by paramedics and went to the hospital for further evaluation.

*Update: March 10, 2023 – in total, 25 employees ended up being transported to hospital. All have been released and are home resting, and everyone at the plant was accounted for.

Other members who were on shift throughout the plant at the time of the leak were evacuated off site around lunch time. Paramedics have been attending to individuals at the evacuation sites for monitoring and treatment as needed. And as some members have been released from the hospital, they have returned to the evacuation sites.

“Our focus is on the members health and safety first and foremost,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of UFCW Local 175. “We are working with the employer and the Ministry of Labour to ensure the safety of all our members, and we will stay up to date on the status of those taken to hospital.”

A number of Union Representatives have been on site since the evacuation to address our members questions and concerns. The Union was also able to provide food and water until the employer was able to secure lunch for all evacuees.

The employer, Union, and Ministry of Labour are working to address the leak and health and safety protocols. The Union is also working with the employer to determine when it will be safe for members to return to the workplace.

“Our members have been asked to remain at the evacuation sites for the time being until they receive the all-clear to re-enter the plant and collect their belongings, especially those who need access to their vehicles to leave,” said Regional Director Sam Caetano.

Union Representatives will remain on site until everyone has either returned to work or had the opportunity to return to the plant to access their vehicles and go home.

Members with questions or concerns should contact their Union Representative for more information.

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 800 members at the Fearman’s Pork Sofina Foods Plant in Burlington. Across the province, UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 70,000 working people across all sectors of the economy including meat processing, manufacturing, health care, retail grocery and pharmacy, hospitality, and more.

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Find past Media Releases from UFCW Locals 175 & 633 here.