Members at Ridgewood Industries ratify agreement with good wage and pension increases
December 15, 2020
Members of UFCW Local 175 at Ridgewood Industries in Cornwall recently ratified a new collective agreement.
The previous agreement at Ridgewood Industries expired on March 31, 2020. The Union Negotiating Committee requested the assistance of a Conciliation Officer to ensure the members had a deal to vote on before the end of the year.
To review the negotiated settlement, members could sign up for an appointment to attend an in-person meeting, take part over Zoom, or pick up a copy of the ratification document and highlights. Members could then vote at any point during the day on December 13, 2020.
Significant language improvements now provide a full day paid holiday on Christmas Eve instead of the previous half day. Policies regarding harassment, bullying, and discrimination have also been improved.
General wages at Ridgewood Industries will improve by 60 cents per hour in year one with retroactive payment for hours worked since the expiry of the previous contract. Employees will receive further raises of 50 cents per hour in year two, 50 cents per hour in year three, and 60 cents per hour in year four. Operators will receive an increase of $1 per hour, retroactive for hours worked since April 1, 2020, plus further raises totalling $1.50 per hour over the remaining three years of the agreement term. In addition, the Union Negotiating Committee achieved new classified positions in this agreement. These new positions will allow a higher wage rate for those employees.
Members will benefit from an increase of 30 cents per hour to the employer’s RRSP contributions as well. This brings the rate to $1 per hour worked.
Further monetary improvements include a $20 increase to the Safety Shoe allowance to provide $120 per year. Maintenance employees will now receive a clothing allowance of $500 per year, and an improved tool allowance of $275 per year, up from $225. The employer will now pay 50% of the cost for meeting rooms required during negotiations.
The ratified four-year agreement covers approximately 322 full-time employees who comprise the bargaining unit at Ridgewood Industries. Members at the facility make ready-to-assemble furniture.
Union Negotiating Committee: Albert Boileau, Bernadine Casselman, Jean Patenaude, Anna White, and Union Rep Joe Tenn.