In recent weeks there have been contract settlements at Alma, Quebec and Trail, B.C which are of particular interest to our Union as we work towards a new collective agreement. We have been gathering information from both the Unions involved to understand the terms agreed to. We are able to provide you with the following synopsis of some of the more interesting aspects of their agreements.
Trail, B.C. United Steel Workers Local 480 and Teck Metals LTD
* Duration: Five year (5) agreement
* Wages: 2012 - 3% 2013 - 3% 2014 - 4% 2015 - 4% 2016 - 4%
* Increase Basic Pension:
2012 - $4.002013 - $2.002014 - $2.00 2015 - $2.00 2016 - $2.00
* Signing Bonus: $10,000 each regular full-time employee (includes those on LTD)
* Benefits: There were improvements made in Dental, Vision Care, Chronic Care, LTD and the addition of a drug card.
* Paid Leave Provisions: There were improvements made to bereavement leave, statutory holidays and vacation.
* Retiree Benefits: There were improvements made to retiree dental, spousal protection, life insurance and a retirement allowance for giving written notice which increases with more notice given.
Alma, Que United Steel Workers Local 9490 and Rio Tinto Alcan
* Duration: Three and a half year (3.5) agreement
* Wages: Determined by a formula which takes into account 75% of the top 12 companies in Quebec. This feature was already in place prior to their recent negotiations and works out to be about 3% increase per year.
* Pension: Weren’t part of these discussions as they are discussed one year prior to CLA expiry.
* Benefits : No information
* Paid Leave Provisions: No Information
* Sub-Contracting: Agreement that defines a list of Union work that can’t be contracted out and puts a ceiling on the number of hours that can be contracted out from a list of periphery work (ancillary to the process). The formula is based on the total number of hours worked by the Production group including over time hours. Prior to 2015 the Company can contract out up to 10% of the Production hours worked and after 2015 this goes to 15%. If the Company contracts out more than the number of hours they’re entitled then that amount is taken away from their entitlement the next year. Note: There are many questions regarding specific details of this agreement which we are in the process of getting answers for.
Update on Kitimat Negotiations
Our Negotiations Committee continues to meet with the Company discussing the demands in Package #2 (non-monetary). Things are progressing slowly with decisions being made on the "smaller" items in the package. The Union’s job security demands are part of this package and although there have been several responses, to date there has been no progress made in this area. The Union has impressed upon the Company the importance of resolving our Job Security demands and meetings this week will hopefully result in movement towards the resolution of these demands.
The Company has approached the Union on two separate occasions to bring certain matters to our attention.
The first was to inform us that Bechtel would be approaching us to discuss a "common site" concern regarding the KMP construction and what effect a strike/lock-out might have on it. This matter is currently in the hands of our lawyers to discuss and possibly act on our behalf if the Labour Board becomes involved.
The second was to inform us that RTA can no longer operate the potrooms or the powerhouse/control room(s) without hourly employees. The Company maintains that if they are not able to run water through the generators in Kemano there are flooding concerns on the Nechako River and downstream. We were informed that the Company will apply for an "essential services" declaration from the Labour Board to keep current hourly control operators running the powerhouse/control room(s). This matter is currently in the hands of our lawyers to discuss and possibly act on our behalf if the Labour Board becomes involved.
Our Strike Contingency committee has been meeting with the Company to work out different logistical matters to make sure things will be as smooth as possible in the event of a strike/lock-out. The goal is to have these matters resolved sometime this week. As part of our preparation, earlier this week the Contingency, Executive and Negotiations Committees met with three RCMP liaisons and had very good and open discussions on the role of the RCMP, the Labour Law, injunctions and how it all goes together in the event of a strike/lock-out. The information from this meeting will be part of the preparation we provide for our picket captains.
Issued by CAW Local 2301
July 10, 2012