BURNABY, BC: United Steelworkers (USW) members have ratified a four-year collective agreement with Western Forest Products (WFP).
The agreement, retroactive to June 15, 2010, covers some 2,400 Local 1-1937 and 1-85 members at sawmilling and woodlands operations on Vancouver Island, the Mainland Coast and the Haida Gwaii.
The agreement provides two-per-cent wage increases in the third and fourth years and new job security provisions in the event of permanent partial closures.
All unionized WFP and unionized contractors operations will remain in the USW. The company will grant the union access to non-union worksites for the purposes of organizing.
“Now that we have a collective agreement, we are optimistic that WFP will be able to find new long-term commitments in the global marketplace which will help get our members back to work in both manufacturing and logging,” said Bob Matters, chair of the USW Wood Council.
The new agreement includes increases to life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment coverage, stabilizes the long-term disability plan with additional contributions, and maintains preferential hiring provisions.