TORONTO, May 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The first collective agreement between
Unifor and Resolute Forest Products has been ratified by all locals
covered by the contract.
The agreement, the first major contract negotiated by Unifor in the pulp
and paper sector since Unifor was formed last year, was accepted by an
overall vote of 86 per cent, and will set the pattern for 8,000 workers
represented by Unifor in the primary pulp and paper sector east of the
"We did not agree to any economic concessions, and the issues of outside
contracting and economic improvements were all key parts of this
agreement," Lambert said.
This four-year contract is the culmination of more than two weeks of
intensive bargaining in Montreal that concluded on May 9. The last of
the ratification meetings took place Thursday.
Renaud Gagné, Assistant to the Quebec Director, said this agreement was
made possible because of the solidarity and determination of our
"Our members sent us to bargaining to make progress and that was
achieved," he said
In 2010, at the height of the economic crisis, Resolute (then
AbitibiBowater) was under the protection of the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act (CCAA) during contract talks, and workers made numerous
concessions to maintain jobs and save their defined benefit pension
This contract reflects a brighter future for the industry today.
"The high ratification is recognition of the hard work by the bargaining
committee members throughout this process, and what we were able to
achieve in the negotiations," Unifor National President Jerry Dias
"It is now time to concentrate on a national forestry sector policy to
ensure continued prosperity for this important industry," he said.
Key to developing such a strategy is a commitment from the federal
government to establish a national forestry sector council with
participation form all stakeholders in the sector, Dias said.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers union merged. Unifor is Canada's largest forestry union.
For further information:
please contact Unifor Forestry Sector Director Mike Lambert at Mike.Lambert@Unifor.org or (cell) 905-351-1709, or Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.