Katinniq in Raglan - $20,000 Increase over Full Term of Employment Contract

    ROUYN-NORANDA, QC, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Steelworkers working for
Katinniq, in Raglan, have ratified an agreement struck by their bargaining
committee and the company. Upon expiry of the five-year employment contract,
the workers will have received an annual pay increase of more than $20,000.
"Our top priority was achieving parity with the Steelworkers at
Kiewitt-Nuvuniut. It wasn't right that people handling machinery and mingling
on the same jobsite didn't have similar working conditions and pay. We needed
to catch up. At the end of this employment contract, they will be earning more
or less the same amount," explained Marc Thibodeau, labour representative at
the United Steelworkers (USW)/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) union.
    This group of Steelworkers will therefore be receiving annual increases
of 2.2% for five years, or more if the consumer price index is higher. They
will also be entitled to a catch-up provision granting $0.13 per hour yearly.
The isolated post allowance for working in a remote northern region will be
$1.60 an hour. For the first year, a profit-sharing clause allowing for 6% of
base pay has also been negotiated. A single percentage point will be added on
in each subsequent year, for a total of 10% in the final year of the
employment contract. The average hourly rate is currently $24.

    Other Benefits

    Improvements were also made to vacation allowances, time taken for union
business and group insurance plans. It should be pointed out that the employer
agreed to take into consideration the fact that many of the workers'
residences are more than 200 kilometers from Rouyn-Noranda. As such, whenever
they leave Raglan, workers living more than 200 km from this city will receive
$175 and those living within this radius will get $50. Should the airplane be
late, the employer will also pay an allowance intended to cover their costs.
    Finally, the employer will make a $1,250 annual payment per worker into
the Fonds de solidarité. This amount will be increased by $250 each year,
reaching an annual amount of $2,250 for each worker in the last year of the
employment contract.

    100% Acceptance

    "Our members are very satisfied. They unanimously accepted this new
collective agreement. We are happy to see our Union fight to ensure that we
are not treated like second-class citizens. They've done good work," concluded
Yves Carrier, President of this unit of Local 9440.

    Raglan is a nickel mine located 1,800 kilometers north of Montreal.
Katinniq Transport, a sub-contractor retained by Xstrata, the owner of the
mine, transports the ore to the port and brings in fuel and drinking water.

For further information:

For further information: Marc Thibodeau, USW/Syndicat des Métallos
(FTQ), (819) 762-3001; Yves Carrier, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), (819)
762-7800, extension 5117

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