United Steelworkers-Alexandria Mouldings Agreement Benefits Community

ALEXANDRIA, ON, March 13, 2015 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) and Alexandria Mouldings have reached a new collective agreement that strengthens the manufacturing base and economic outlook in this eastern Ontario community.

USW members ratified a three-year contract on Thursday covering 253 production and maintenance employees at three local Alexandria Mouldings plants.

"Our union is optimistic about the future of manufacturing in Ontario and agreements like this one demonstrate collective bargaining is a key to our province's economic success," said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.

"This agreement shows manufacturing can thrive when employees are treated well and paid fairly and we believe other employers should take note. The low-wage, no-benefits path is not the right direction for Ontario's future," Warren said.

Alexandria Mouldings is Canada's largest manufacturer of high-quality wood and composite mouldings for the home building and renovation markets.  Based in Alexandria, with additional operations in the U.S., the company serves customers across North America.

The company's employees in Alexandria were members of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) but were dissatisfied with that organization. They voted overwhelmingly last year to leave CLAC and join the USW, which represents thousands of workers in wood products and related sectors.

"We're pleased with the assistance we received from the USW in these negotiations to help us achieve a fair contract," said Gary Menard, chief union steward for the Alexandria workers. "Now we have the USW's expertise and resources behind us to be more effective in representing our members."

The new collective agreement provides numerous improvements to benefits and terms and conditions of work, including health and safety, seniority rights, vacations, disability benefits and drug, dental and vision care coverage.

The contract includes across-the-board wage increases of five per cent over three years and additional increases for some job classifications and for weekend shifts.

"This agreement recognizes the workers' contribution to the company's success and provides solid improvements that will help them and their families," said USW negotiator David Lipton.

"It provides a solid footing to keep good manufacturing jobs here in Alexandria, for the benefit of the community."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792; David Lipton, USW Staff Representative, 613-260-7205, ext. 232, dlipton@usw.ca; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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