Resolute, Unifor announce ratification of collective agreement with pulp and paper mills
May 23, 2022 By P&PC Staff
Resolute Forest Products and Unifor have announced that a four-year collective agreement was ratified by 89.5 percent of Unifor’s members at seven Resolute pulp and paper mills in Canada. This was after the union and the company had reached an agreement-in-principle on May 15, 2022.
“We are pleased with the result of the vote, which is a testament to the hard work and collaborative efforts of both the company and the union in recent years to address the challenges we are facing and to ensure the competitiveness of the business,” said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. “Thanks to the support of our employees, we continue to pursue our vision to operate a model manufacturing company, built with the strongest business values, the highest respect for sustainability and the calling to serve our people and communities.”
The collective agreements cover approximately 700 hourly employees represented by Unifor at Resolute’s Dolbeau; Gatineau; Kénogami; Saint-Félicien and currently indefinitely idled Amos and Baie-Comeau pulp and paper facilities in Quebec; and the Thunder Bay operation in Ontario. The seven mills account for about 50 percent of the company’s total pulp and paper production capacity. In total, nearly 15,000 members will be impacted by this model contract in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
“The result clearly shows the agreement meets the expectations of our members, which were significant in this round of negotiations,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec director. “And most importantly, the many gains made will help attract and maintain the workforce the industry needs.”
This new contract will now serve as a model for the entire sector. Highlights from the agreement include:
- Over the four-year term of the agreement, salary adjustments in the order of $2.50/hour for members in the production industry (all job classes including stationers) and adjustments of $3.50/hour for members in the trades;
- Salary increases of three percent in the first year, $1.30/hour in the 2nd, three percent in the 3rd and $1.30/hour in the last;
- In total, these amounts represent average increases of between 20 percent and 24 percent;
- The establishment of a Women’s Representative in each plant;
- Maintaining preventative health and safety provisions and practices (despite setbacks in Quebec);
- Significant enhancements to group benefits (vision, dental, life and long-term disability);
- Night and Evening Shift Premium increased by $0.10/hour;
- Third week of vacation after two years of service;
- Double time for Sunday overtime after four hours;
- Union release of 30 minutes to meet new members.
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