Unifor members working at a Quebec Wild Blueberries frozen food processing plant in Newport, Que., voted 96 per cent in favour of the terms of their very first collective agreement during a general meeting held on May 17.
Unifor was accredited in spring 2018 to represent the employees of the plant. An agreement in principle followed after 10 face-to-face bargaining meetings and several telephone meetings as the owners of the plant, Quebec Wild Blueberries, are based in Lac-Saint-Jean, said the union.
The new 28-month collective agreement significantly enhances the working conditions of employees and offers them better protections, according to Unifor.
Gains include better rules to ensure the health and safety of employees, respect for seniority, two more days of sick leave in addition to those provided by law, overtime pay, improved employee earnings, bereavement leave, bonus system for shifts and special assignments, said the union.
The wage increases will total 4.25 per cent for 2019 and 2020. In addition, a first salary increase will be applicable as of May 2019 which represents — depending on the occupation — a wage increase between three and eight per cent of current hourly rates, said Unifor.
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