Kiewitt in Raglan - Single-room Accommodations, Significant Pay Increases

    ROUYN-NORANDA, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The 55 Steelworkers employed by
Kiewitt-Nuvuniut in Raglan have ratified a five-year collective agreement that
includes significant pay raises and also guarantees a single room for each
employee. "Our main priority was to ensure single rooms for each of our
members. For the past ten years, they've had to share accommodations, two to a
room. This was not right. From the outset of negotiations, the employer was
advised that they would have to come up with a solution to this problem,"
declared Marc Thibodeau, labour representative at the United Steelworkers
(USW)/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) union.
    Kiewitt-Nuvunuit, a sub-contractor retained by Xstrata, received a letter
guaranteeing that its workers would be assigned 75 rooms out of the 210 that
will be built shortly. The USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) has ensured that
these rooms will be assigned to workers on the basis of seniority.

    Pay Increases

    From a financial standpoint, the Steelworkers at this location have
received an overall increase of 12.5%, or 2.5% annually over a five-year
period. The night shift differential was increased by $0.75 for each hour
worked and the isolated post allowance for working in a remote northern
region, by $1.60 per hour. A $1,500 signing bonus was also secured. The
average hourly rate is currently $24.

    Other Benefits

    Paid holidays will now be compensated at double time and a half. The
agreement also includes two paid days off that the worker can break up into
half-days and combine with periods "off-site".
    From a safety standpoint, the company will pay hourly rates of $0.20 and
$0.25 to production and maintenance workers respectively, for the purchase of
heavy work boots. The company will make an additional payment of $250 annually
for safety corrective eyewear.
    Further enhancements were made to work schedules, annual vacation
allotments and vision care insurance for workers, their spouses and their
children. The employer has committed to make a $1,000 annual payment per
worker into the Fonds de solidarité. Finally, each worker will receive $550
when hired, to purchase a coat and boots suitable for the Northern region.

    94% Agreement Acceptance Rate

    "94% of workers voted to accept the agreement. Our members are satisfied.
They appreciate the Union's efforts. Obtaining single-room accommodations for
all members was a very important bargaining demand, and was in fact the one
item that prompted all of our members to accept this new employment contract,"
concluded Jacques Beaudin, President of this unit of Local 9449.

    Raglan is a nickel mine located 1,800 kilometers north of Montreal.

For further information:

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

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