Unifor and Resolute Forest Products reach tentative labour agreement for Eastern Canada
May 16, 2022 By P&PC Staff
Resolute Forest Products and Unifor announced that they have reached a tentative four-year labour agreement on May 14.
The agreement-in-principle will be ratified by members who will review and vote on it. Meetings will be held to present the new contract to workers in Resolute’s mills. The final result will be known on May 20.
The master agreement covers seven of Resolute’s pulp and paper mills in Canada: the Dolbeau; Gatineau; Kenogami; Saint-Felicien and currently indefinitely idled Amos and Baie-Comeau facilities in Quebec; and the Thunder Bay operation in Ontario.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement-in-principle with Unifor national and local leadership,” said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer at Resolute. “It underscores the important contribution of our employees to the company’s success, as well as the collaborative nature of the relationship between the two parties.”
Unifor selected Resolute Forest Products as the target company to negotiate the model contract for the forest industry in eastern Canada. This decision was made at a meeting of 200 delegates from paper mills, sawmills, forestry operations and other fibre processing plants in Montreal in March.
“In the current context of labour shortages and soaring inflation, it was necessary to ensure competitive and attractive working conditions, which was our main challenge,” said Renaud Gagne, Quebec Director of Unifor and union spokesperson at the bargaining table. “We are confident we have reached the best possible agreement under the circumstances. It’s now up to the members.”
The model contract for the paper industry is to negotiate monetary items such as wages, benefits and pensions at a common table. Once the model is negotiated, it serves as a basis for negotiation with all other employers in the forest industry.
The agreement with Resolute involves 700 Unifor members. In total, nearly 15,000 members will be impacted by this model contract in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
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