Alberta strike leader hurt in crash

UFCW president Doug O'Halloran hurt in 3-vehicle crash near strike-bound Lakeside Packers plant in Brooks, Alta.

The man leading a bitter strike at an Alberta meat-packing plant has been injured in a car crash.

Doug O'Halloran, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers' Local 401, was taken to hospital for treatment Friday evening and later released.

O'Halloran is reported to be feeling stiff and sore.

No one else involved in the three-vehicle crash near the entrance to the Lakeside Packers plant in Brooks was hurt, according to police.

There are conflicting reports about what caused the crash. Some workers said they believe O'Halloran's vehicle may have been run off the road. Police wouldn't say if the crash is connected to the strike.

RCMP said four people were arrested after the collision, but no charges were laid.

The accident was reported only hours after O'Halloran appealed for calm as tempers flared on the picket line at the Lakeside Packers plant, 400 kilometres southeast of Edmonton. 

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers walked off the job Oct. 12 as part of their effort to get a first contract with Lakeside.

Meanwhile, a hearing for an injunction to stop disruptive behaviour on the picket lines was to be held Saturday afternoon.

If the injunction is approved, picketers could face criminal charges for violating a directive from the Alberta Labour Relations Board ordering them to stop blocking replacement workers' access to the plant.