Unionized employees of Resolute Forest Products have voted to support the collective agreement negotiated by the company with Unifor.
“We are delighted with the strong support expressed by our employees for the agreement entered into between Resolute and Unifor," said president and CEO Richard Garneau. “This agreement will help us keep our Canadian pulp and paper mills competitive and preserves our position as a financially strong and reliable supplier for our customers. We are pleased to see that our employees and their union leaders appreciate the nature of the issues and challenges facing our company, such as accessing forest resources, controlling costs and challenging market dynamics for some of our end-use paper products."
An agreement in principle was entered into between Unifor and the company on May 8, 2014, to renew the collective agreements for a four-year period. This agreement in principle was submitted and accepted by a strong majority of union members during the ratification process over the past few weeks in each mill covered by the agreement.
This agreement covers nearly 2,000 employees across 11 Resolute pulp and paper mills, consisting of the Quebec mills of Amos, Baie-Comeau, Dolbeau, Gatineau, Kénogami, Laurentide and Saint-Félicien, as well as the Ontario mills of Fort Frances, Iroquois Falls, Thorold and Thunder Bay.
The agreement will set the pattern for 8,000 workers represented by Unifor in the primary pulp and paper sector east of the Manitoba border.
In a press release, Unifor said the union “did not agree to any economic concessions, and the issues of outside contracting and economic improvements were all key parts of this agreement."