About 400 truck drivers and dock workers employed by TST Overland in Ontario voted 83 per cent on June 24 to ratify a new four-year collective agreement.
This comes after the employees, who are represented by Teamsters Local Unions 91, 938 and 879, had voted by over 99 per cent in favour of strike action last month. About 30 mechanics at the company also voted unanimously to ratify their own separate four-year agreement on June 23, said the union.
“Workers in the trucking industry have demanding, thankless jobs. They deserve fair pay and decent treatment, things these new contracts guarantee,” said François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada.
The truck drivers, dock workers and mechanics will receive a 9.5 per cent raise over the course of both agreements. They will also see improvements to their pension fund and benefits plan, said the union.
Dock workers, mechanics and city drivers at TST Overland are paid an hourly wage. Highway truck drivers are paid a combination of hourly wages and a mileage rate. In their case, the hourly wage kicks in once a route takes longer than normally expected, said Teamsters.
The union made no concessions throughout the course of the negotiations. The company had sought to deny drivers the ability to refuse to work over 45 hours per week. Forced overtime would have greatly diminished drivers’ quality of life, and would have made it more difficult to manage their fatigue, said the union.
The previous collective agreements for the drivers, dock workers and mechanics had expired on March 23. Negotiations had been ongoing for about four months, said Teamsters.
Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 15,000 long-haul truck drivers.
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