Mill unions expected to vote on tentative agreement

There’s been headway in the most recent round of talks between Abitibi-Consolidated and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1744 and International Association of Machinists Lodge 771.
“We still can’t talk about the content of the talks, but an agreement in principle was reached Thursday, Nov. 25,” said Len Robinson, Human Resources manager and negotiator for the local mill.
“There’s still some paperwork on my end that has to be done. After that, we’ll have a ratification vote,” he added.
“The only thing I can really say at this time is it’s been a long process to get where we are,” IBEW Local 1744 president Dwayne Sletmoen said Tuesday morning.
“We’re where we are because of a lot of outside pressure. Bargaining is never a fun time—it’s very stressful,” he added.
“The next step will be to get a document with the exact wording of the terms—a tentative agreement. That’s what’s brought back to the membership to either reject or accept,” noted Sletmoen, who added he expects to have the tentative agreement in his hands later this week.
The ratification vote will be held a short time after that.
IAM Lodge 771 president Herman Pruys was unavailable for comment prior to press time Tuesday.
Both unions have been without contract since May 1.
The first set of talks was held at the beginning of September. More talks were held in October, and then Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 23-25.
Members of Locals 92 and 306 of the Communications, Energy and Papermakers Union of Canada ratified a new five-year deal with Abitibi-Consolidated back in July.