At Host International, Dorval, Steelworkers receive a good negotiated settlement



    MONTREAL, May 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Of the 550 Steelworkers employed by Host
International at the international airport in Dorval, 80% voted to accept a
good negotiated settlement yesterday. "Our members supported us throughout
this strenuous negotiating process. On two occasions, they rejected
management's offers and expressed their support for the bargaining committee.
We had a clear strike mandate for whenever this would be deemed timely by the
bargaining committee. The employer finally understood, and we have now
improved our wage and working conditions," declared Jean-Yves Couture, union
staffer with the United Steelworkers (FTQ).
    One of the key issues in these negotiations had to do with the insurance
plan. The employer will now pay a 50% share, whatever type of service is
provided to members. Furthermore, the entire membership is now eligible for
dental benefits insurance. The employer's level of contributions for long-term
disability insurance will be gradually implemented over the term of the
collective agreement, while all others will take effect immediately. Finally,
new services such as vision care have been added. "Everyone will now be
entitled to the same level of services, without having to pay extra. For
example, some of our members were paying up to $120 monthly. What's nice about
the new settlement is that they will even be entitled to additional services.
All of this was made possible through our members' support and perseverance.
We felt that we had their support and the employer knew it. This makes a big
difference at the bargaining table," continued Allan Ramsay, president of the
Host bargaining unit of the United Steelworkers (FTQ) Hotel and Food Service
Amalgamated Local 9400.
    The four-year collective agreement includes a 3% wage increase in the
first year, 2.5% in each of the next two years and 3% in the final year. The
hourly rate paid to a first cook, for example, will therefore rise from $14.20
to $15.84 by the end of the term of the agreement.
    Workers were also granted two additional sick days, a fifth week of
vacation after 25 years of service, four weeks after 10 years (instead of the
previous 12 years) and a more equitable calculation for days off and personal
holidays for tip employees. Finally, union leave will be eight hours weekly
where fewer than 600 are employed and 16 hours weekly if the workforce exceeds
600.
    It should be recalled that, on March 5, 95% of members rejected
management's non-wage-related offers. The employer refused to put any
wage-related offers on the table. At that time, the members granted a strike
mandate for whenever their bargaining committee deemed it appropriate. On
April 1, 85% of members rejected the employer's final offers and re-affirmed
their support for the bargaining committee.

    Host International is a concession-holder operating foodservice outlets
throughout the international airport in Dorval. This bargaining unit of United
Steelworkers (FTQ) Amalgamated Local 9400 is made up of more than 550
employees, whose average hourly wage is $10.33. More than 50 per cent of these
employees are women, and a large number of the workers are from ethnic
minority groups.




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Yves Couture, United Steelworkers (FTQ),
(450) 430-9220; Allan Ramsay, United Steelworkers (FTQ), (514) 652-8701


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