CAMBRIDGE, ON, July 3 /CNW/ – Three years after a strike against Babcock
and Wilcox Canada, the United Steelworkers’ (USW) Local 2859 has ratified a
new three-year contract with the company that increases wages by a total of
8.5 per cent.
The agreement, effective Sept. 1, also boosts workers’ pensions by $2 a
year, along with a pension bridge that goes from $200 a month to $350. The
union also negotiated improved shift premiums and extended benefits, including
coverage for massage therapy, chiropractic care and speech therapy. Vision
care and dental coverage have also increased and bereavement leave has been
extended to include more family members.
The union attributes the quickly-achieved settlement and ratification to
an improved relationship with the company over the period since the 2005
strike, an era that has seen grievances against the company fall from 50 per
year to one, allowing the union to focus more on member education instead of
doing battle over company violations of the contract.
“This should be a lesson to employers that choose not to work with the
union,” said USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser. “In this age of
increased globalization, the union can be a company’s most valuable ally in
protecting profits and market share. All it takes is vision and a willingness
to see the union as a true partner in prosperity.”
Babcock & Wilcox Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Babcock & Wilcox
Company, North America’s largest manufacturer of steam generation products and
Canada’s most diverse union, the USW represents more than 280,000 men and
women working in every sector of the economy.