Canada embroiled in great bun war

A great bun war is heating up in western Canada.

At issue is where the McDonald's restaurant chain buys the 8.4 million dozen hamburger buns it uses annually in western Canada.

Dissatisfied with the buns it was getting from its Canadian baker, McDonald's recently switched its order for the three provinces to American bakeries south of the border.

As a result, 66 workers at a Canadian bakery, McGavin Foods Ltd., lost their jobs, causing the 2 million-strong Canadian Labor Congress to launch a Big Mac attack of its own.

Last month they called for a boycott of the restaurant in the three provinces in question, a move that quickly gained nationwide publicity as it caught the fancy of the media.

Dick Martin, president of the Manitoba Federation of Labor and a key organizer of the boycott, said, ''I think McDonald's are going to be sorry over this one.''

But sales have not fallen off, company Vice-President Ron Marcoux maintains. He says the boycott is ''ridiculous'' because it follows years of efforts by the restaurant to help the Canadian bakery meet the restaurant's standards for size, color, weight, and sliceability.

Mr. Marcoux admits McDonald's is ''very picky'' but says it will ''never back down on an issue of quality. Also, he says angrily, the boycott could put many more Canadians out of work if it was even partially successful.

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