CLR surveys contracts in the food and beverage industry

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/09/2012

Canadian Labour Reporter has analyzed 49 wage settlements that have taken place since June 2010. All involved unions. Fourteen were in bargaining units represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, nine were represented by the Canadian Auto Workers, six by the Teamsters, five by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers, four by employees’ associations, three by the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, two by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, and one each by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees, the International Association of Machinists, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees, the Retail Wholesale Union, and the United Steelworkers. There were three one-year agreements, 27 three-year agreements, three at between three and four years, six four-year, six five-year, one six-year, one seven-year, and two contracts between seven and eight years. The average contract length was just under 3.6 years, slightly shorter than last year with more short-term contracts and more long ones. Rates of pay across the 49 firms with information average as follows: full-time labour rate after probation – $17.10 and top skilled rate – $27.55. The settlements in this survey cover 10,530 employees.

COLA: Seven of the collective agreements have a COLA clause, six of which are limited by a cap or trigger. The average first-year wage increase for these six agreements is 1.8%, or, with three wage freezes excluded, 3.6%. They provide 1.65% in the second year (2.0% without one wage freeze) and 1.5% in the third (or 2.3% with two freezes excluded). One agreement has an open COLA; it has a three-year wage freeze.

Non-COLA Wage Adjustments: Forty-two unionized firms provide an average first-year increase of 2.0%, including seven wage freezes. (Without them, and without the first-year wage rollback at Pinty’s, the average would be 2.65%.) In the second year, 39 agreements provide an average increase of 2.5% with one wage freeze. (Without it, 2.5%.) In the third year, the 39 firms provide an average increase of 2.5% with no freezes.