Xstrata Zinc Mine Matagami - Three years and a 9.75% wage increase

    ROUYN-NORANDA, QC, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The 130 Steelworkers at Xstrata
Zinc Mine Matagami have accepted, by a vote of 88%, a collective agreement
that provides wage increases of 9.75% over three years. The average hourly
wage is $25. "Despite the economic crisis that is raging everywhere and that
is by no means sparing the mining industry, we were able to negotiate a good
work agreement. There was no going backwards. The company told us at the
bargaining table that it was impressed by the quality of the labour force, and
that the company was profitable," declared Marc Thibodeau, Staff
Representative of the United Steelworkers (FTQ).
    The settlement also brings improvements to bonuses, the pension plan,
insurance and time off. The increase to the training bonus is $1 per hour; to
the night bonus, $1 per hour; to the bonus for knowledge of flotation (a
chemical process that separates the zinc from the other metals), $0.62 per
hour for those who are familiar with the process. We would point out that all
the twenty-odd operators of the treatment plant will earn this bonus during
the term of the collective agreement. Finally, an amount of $300 per week will
be paid to trade workers who are required to carry a pager in order to be
reached in case of emergency. In a week that includes a statutory holiday, an
additional amount of $150 will be payable. As far as the pension plan is
concerned, the basic benefit is currently $48 per month per year of service.
This will increase to $51 in 2009 and $52 in 2010. The short-term and
long-term disability, life and supplementary health insurance plans have also
been improved. Finally, statutory holidays will be paid according to the work

For further information:

For further information: Marc Thibodeau, United Steelworkers (FTQ),
(819) 762-3001

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