Members at Maple Lodge Farms in Brampton ratify

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April 9, 2019

The 1,200 full-time employees at Maple Lodge Farms in Brampton ratified a new collective agreement on April 6, 2019.

UFCW 175 members at Maple Lodge Farms attend their ratification meetingThe members had rejected a previous settlement reached in early March and sent their committee back to the negotiating table with a strike mandate.

The ratified agreement contains raises totalling $2.05 per hour over the term of the contract. Members will receive a retroactive lump sum payment of $600 effective as of ratification as well. Live Haul Drivers will get retroactive pay of $15 per load, and no Live Haul Driver will receive less than $600 for this payment. In addition, pay rates for Live Haul Drivers have been adjusted and improved following changes to the delivery and kill systems.

A new premium provides all Live Receiving, Sanitation and VRT employees with an additional 65 cents per hour. Other existing shift premiums improve to 50 cents per hour as of ratification. Those premiums increase again in year two, to 55 cents per hour. In year two, employees will also benefit from a $25 increase to the annual boot allowance.

Employer contributions to the workers’ pension plan will improve by 5 cents per hour worked as of ratification, and another 5 cents per hour in October 2019.

Previously, all employees hired after December 12, 2012 had to pay 30% of the cost of their health benefit plan premiums. The negotiating committee achieved new provisions that, as of the date of ratification, will see any employee hired after December 12, 2012, that has three or more years of service, have their benefit premiums paid at 100% by the employer. This will affect 150 employees directly. Plus, any employee during the term of the contract who passes the three-year threshold will also see their benefits paid 100% by the employer

Also, effective ratification, vision care coverage will improve by $25. The workers’ dental plan improves to provide coverage in line with the 2017 Ontario Dental Association (ODA) guide. The plan will then follow the 2018 ODA guide next year, and the 2019 guide in 2021.

The Union Negotiating Committee achieved important language improvements, which now make having Union representation during any discipline meeting mandatory. In addition, a new sunset clause will see the removal of discipline from an employee’s record after 18 months.

Other language amendments improve vacation scheduling and bereavement leave. The employer made a commitment to hiring more drivers as well.

UFCW 175 Negotiating Committee at Maple Lodge FarmsUnion Negotiating Committee: Leah Alegre, Glen Avila, Rogelio Burdeos, Joel Guerra, Larry Mann, Felix Ramos, Brian Veenstra, Union Rep John DiFalco, and Region 2 Director, John Dinardo.

Read more negotiation updates for members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633.