Essex County Council is banding together in the face of this week's federal omnibus budget bill.

The bill contains measures to deregulate food packaging sizes.

Wednesday night, Essex County Council endorsed a recommendation to save food processing jobs in the region they council says are at risk.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said that deregulation will affect the food processing industry across southwestern Ontario.

"Every municipality in the [Highway] 401 corridor that has either a farm or a plant or transportation or refrigeration warehousing should all be very supportive of this," McNamara said.

McNamara said a meeting of mayors from communities along Highway 401 is being planned for the week of Dec. 17.

Food processing companies in Canada could spend millions of dollars upgrading production lines to get in sync with American sizes, continue to operate as-is or simply move operations to the U.S.

Ottawa has consistently said food processors are not required by law to change anything. The federal government has also said there will be access to government grants to upgrade plants.