September 16, 2008 / 10:08 PM / 9 years ago

Viterra office workers ratify new contract

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Unionized workers at the head office of Canadian grain company Viterra Inc ratified a new contract on Tuesday, ending an 11-week strike.

About 200 workers who provide support services at the company’s headquarters in Regina, Saskatchewan, will return to their jobs on Monday, Viterra said.

Officials of the Grain Services Union were not immediately available for comment, and details of the vote results were not released.

The five-year contract includes a 6 percent pay increase on signing, and annual increases that will be based on performance, which Viterra said could increase a worker’s pay by between 5 and 15 percent.

The company’s 600 operations and maintenance workers at its network of grain elevators and farm supply centers in Saskatchewan will vote on the contract offer over the next week.

Those workers have staged limited strike action since the beginning of September, coinciding with the busy harvest season.

Viterra, which was known at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool until it acquired rival Agricore United last year, has said the strike had little impact on its operations and said it expects to keep elevators running during the harvest.

Viterra shares closed up 66 Canadian cents at C$11.40 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, before the contract vote results were announced..

($1=$1.07 Canadian)

Reporting by Allan Dowd, Roberta Rampton; editing by Rob Wilson

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