Presteve Foods Expansion Welcomed By Unifor

An expansion at a Wheatley food processing plant that's been approved by Chatham-Kent Council is being welcomed.

The expansion involves 2 buildings totalling about 50-thousand square feet.

Unifor Local 444 represents workers at the plant.

Local President Dino Chiodo is anxious to learn how many additional jobs will be created but says the expansion is a signal the company and the area are on the rebound.

Workers recently ratified a new contract calling for improved wages and benefits. Says Chiodo, "The reality is it shows we can still be competitive and give them the opportunity to expand their operations.  We don't know what it means in relation to jobs at this point but what we recognize is that if they bring in more product because they need the space to satisfy customer demand, they're going to have to expand the membership at some point."

The company has estimated the expansion will create 25 jobs in the near future with a potential for an additional 75 down the road. There are currently 80 Unifor members at the plant.

There's no timeline for the 2-phase expansion.