MONTREAL – The tentative agreement reached last weekend was ratified by 89.5% of Unifor union members working in Resolute Forest Products' paper mills.
“The result clearly shows the agreement meets the expectations of our members, which were significant in this round of negotiations,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “And most importantly, the many gains made will help attract and maintain the workforce the industry needs.”
This new contract will now serve as a model for the entire sector. Highlights include:
- Over the 4-year term of the agreement, salary adjustments in the order of $2.50/hour for members in the production industry (all job classes including stationers) and adjustments of $3.50/hour for members in the trades;
- Salary increases of 3% in the first year, $1.30/hour in the 2nd, 3% in the 3rd and $1.30/hour in the last;
- In total, these amounts represent average increases of between 20% and 24%;
- The establishment of a Women’s Representative in each plant;
- Maintaining preventative health and safety provisions and practices (despite setbacks in Quebec);
- Significant enhancements to group benefits (vision, dental, life and long-term disability);
- Night and Evening Shift Premium increased by $0.10/hour;
- Third week of vacation after 2 years of service;
- Double time for Sunday overtime after 4 hours;
- Union release of 30 minutes to meet new members;
- And many other gains.
The model contract for the paper industry allows for items such as wages, benefits and pensions to be negotiated at a common table. Once the model is bargained, it serves as a basis for negotiation with all other employers in the forest industry.
The agreement with Resolute covers 700 members of Unifor. In total, nearly 15,000 members will be impacted by this model contract in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 24,000 in the forestry sector. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.