MONTREAL -- A draft settlement has been accepted by the management team at poultry processing company Exceldor, announced Quebec Labour Minister Jean Boulet Thursday.

"The management team has accepted a draft settlement submitted by the special mediator," Boulet tweeted. "This is good news. The union members will now vote in a general assembly."

It's the latest step forward in resolving the conflict between workers and the administration.

"For the first time since the strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) at the Saint-Anselme plant on May 23, a solution is available to us," management said in a press release Thursday.

It noted that, "from the very beginning," it has wanted to find a solution "to stop food waste."

Following a meeting with the minister Wednesday, union representatives said they will present the settlement to their union members, as long as the company also accepts the proposal.

The 550 workers at Exceldor, a chicken processor in Saint-Anselme in Quebec's Chaudière-Appalaches region, have been on strike since May 23.

The employer was proposing a wage of $22.51 per hour, while the union was demanding $25 an hour. The union is also protesting what it calls high-pressure work conditions in the plant.

Exceldor management maintains that "the ball is in the camp of the unionized employees" and says it is "reaching out to them" to put an end to the labour dispute.

It adds that it is ready to resume operations "as soon as possible."

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 24, 2021.