Members of Unifor, Local 1403 on July 26 voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement with the employer, Canadian Kraft Paper (CKP) in The Pas, Man.
Local 1403 represents 200 workers at the mill. After three months of talks, the bargaining committee secured a contract that improves wages and working conditions as well as providing stability to the mill and town, said the union.
In the fall of 2016, Tolko announced it was closing the mill in December when it could not find a buyer. A U.S.-based company approached the former owners and the union and bought the mill on condition workers take a 10 per cent wage rollback. The province also approved a three-year moratorium on special payments to the pension plan as part of the sale, according to Unifor.
Now operating as Canadian Kraft Paper the company has reinvested in the mill and the workers have achieved record production levels. The signing bonus and two per cent increases in each of the following years of the no-concessions agreement, show a recommitment by the workers and the mill owners to the rebirth of the mill and the town, said the union.
Other changes include improved bereavement leave for 12-hour shift workers, a 10-per-cent training premium, improved paramedical benefits and increased safety-equipment allowance. Workers studying to get trades accreditation will now receive more paid time off to write exams, according to Unifor.
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