Cargill workers ratify new deal

June 18, 2013 at 6:41pm

A deal was reached between the Union negotiating committee, representing more than 940 workers at the Cargill poultry plant in London, and the company following two days of meeting with a Ministry of Labour Mediation Officer after negotiations reached an impasse a couple of weeks ago.

Bargaining unit members would have been in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on June 12 had the parties not come to an agreement. Union members had the opportunity to discuss and vote on the new contract at a meeting held on Sunday, June 16, 2013. The contract was ratified by 94%.

Workers will benefit from a number of improvements including wage increases totalling 95 cents per hour for full-time over the four-year term, plus an additional wage adjustment for maintenance workers of 50 cents per hour. Part-time workers receive increase of 50 cents per hour in each year. Additionally, part-time employees receive an improved safety shoe allowance of $130, up from $100, and minimum reporting pay of four hours, up from three. Other monetary improvements include an additional week’s pay paid on an employee’s 30th anniversary date, and the employer will now pay the annual fees for Tradesperson registration.

For the first time ever, employees will now have Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage included as part of their benefit plan. Workers also benefit from increased employer-paid pension contributions and improved maintenance apprenticeship wage scales.

The employer will now pay for the Chief Steward to provide all new hires with orientation. Other language improvements address scheduling the weekend maintenance crew, bereavement entitlement, statutory holidays, job postings, payroll errors, and overtime. In addition, workers will not be required to provide receipts in order to receive the annual tool allowance.

The employer also agrees to contribute $1,000 per year toward the UFCW Leukemia Fund.

Union Negotiating Committee: Danny Amaral, Karen Butts, Al Couture, Larry Douglas, Les Fletcher, Vicki Kelly, Brenda Penny, Eleanor Steffen, Ron Sweetman, Rob Vanderaa, Union Rep Rob Nicholas and Executive Assistant to the President Ray Bromley.