THOMPSON, MB, Sept. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) members
in Thompson have ratified a new collective agreement with mining
Members of USW Local 6166 voted Thursday in favour of a three-year
contract that includes 2.5% annual wage increases, cost-of-living
allowances, pension improvements and transition and retention payments.
USW Local 6166 represents about 1,100 workers at Vale's mining, smelting
and refining operations in Thompson.
"We have achieved many improvements in this agreement, thanks to a
strong bargaining committee backed up by solid support from our
members," said USW Local 6166 President Murray Nychyporuk.
"Obviously, the gains we have made are bittersweet, given Vale's plans
to close our smelter and refinery in 2015, eliminating 500 jobs,"
Nychyporuk said . "However, we were able to negotiate new language to
try to mitigate the impact on our members."
The new language includes a "preferential hiring" clause for workers who
are laid off as a result of plant closures. These workers will have
hiring preference for employment opportunities at other Vale operations
in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The new contract also provides each worker with "transition and
retention payments" totaling $10,000, to be paid over three years. A
$4,000 payment will be made October 15, followed by $2,000 payments on
July 15 in each of the following three years.
In addition to the 2.5% annual wage hikes, workers will receive a
35-cent hourly cost-of-living increase, for an average wage increase of
$2.72 an hour over the contract's term.
The contract also features a new incentive plan, as well as pension
improvements. The monthly minimum benefit for members of the
defined-benefit pension plan rises to $3,450 immediately, with a
further increase to $3,550 in September 2013.
A defined-contribution pension plan for employees hired after January 1,
2012, will see the company contribute 8% of a worker's regular base
earnings, as well as matching contributions of a worker's voluntary
contributions, up to certain limits.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
| Contacts: || Murray Nychyporuk, President, USW Local 6166, 204-677-1700; |
| || Roy Leslie, USW Staff Representative, 204-687-7074. |