BURNABY, BC, May 19 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) members employed
by Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) member
companies in the BC southern interior have ratified a four-year
collective agreement, retroactive to July 1, 2009.
Members in USW Local 1-405 Cranbrook, Local 1-417 Kamloops and Local
1-423 Kelowna voted in majority in favour of the agreement that was
reached on April 21, 2011.
The agreement provides union members with enhanced job security language
that finally addresses the exclusion of working foreman from bargaining
unit work, improved contract language surrounding permanent and/or
partial closure of manufacturing operations, and a long-overdue trades
rate adjustment for Tradesmen and Power Engineers.
The IFLRA-USW agreement builds on the pattern items that were negotiated
in earlier rounds of bargaining when the union concluded deals with
Canadian Forest Products, West Fraser and Council on Northern Interior
Forest Employment Relations.
The IFLRA pattern agreement - like other deals in the Interior - provide
USW members with wage increases of 2 percent in years 3 and 4, protects
the members' Long Term Disability Plan and includes strong health and
safety language. Improved life insurance and medical travel coverage
are also part of the settlement as well as assistance for apprentices.
USW Wood Council Chair Bob Matters acknowledges that talks took place at
a time when the forest industry was experiencing significant market
difficulties and suggests these tough times caused negotiations to be
stretched out for almost 22 months. Ratification of the IFLRA southern
interior agreement brings to a close all major forest industry
bargaining in the BC Interior, Matters says.
The USW, Canada's largest industrial union, represents about 11,000
forest workers in the BC Interior.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Bob Matters 604.996.4476 or 604.683.1117