In voting held yesterday, 135 members of Unifor Local 324-99 voted 85 percent in favour of a new five-year collective agreement with Norbord covering its Oriented Strand Board (OSB) mill in Barwick.
“The significant improvements achieved in this new deal are reflective of an improved relationship with Norbord and an extremely strong demand for wood products across North America,” said Unifor national representative Stephen Boon.
“This new deal offers long-term stability for the Barwick mill,” he noted.
“But most importantly, it provides improved contract language, major monetary gains, and now a highly-lucrative profit-sharing opportunity for our members near Fort Frances.”
Licensed trades base rates of pay will increase to $41.58/hour, with top production rates rising to $36.40/hour, by the final year of the contract.
Unifor is the largest private-sector union in Canada with more than 315,000 members, including almost 8,000 members across Northwestern Ontario.
Key terms of deal include:
•a five-year deal running from Aug. 1, 2017-July 31, 2022, with 2.0%, 2.0%, 2.0%, 2.0%, and 2.5% general wage increases;
•opportunity for employees to earn several thousand dollars in bonus pay each year under a new profit-sharing plan;
•$500 signing bonus;
•$1.50 hourly pay increase for trades;
•$.50 hourly pay increase for control room operators;
•$1.00 hourly pay increase for students;
•$.25 increase in shift differential premiums;
•$50 increase in annual work boot allowance to $200;
•$125 increase in eye glass coverage to $350;
•$50 increase in annual tool allowance for trades / $100 for apprentices;
•1% increase in company DC pension contributions to seven percent of earnings per year;
•recognition of two paid emergency leave days;
•$4 increase in meal allowance to $16;
•one day increase in paid bereavement for immediate family;
•ability to break up two weeks of vacation into single days;
•$50 increase in annual employee health allowance pay;
•new $600 annual massage allowance;
•new $.02 per hour for Unifor paid educational leave; and
•$3,500 annually to Local 324 for training.