Ratified agreement at Material Recovery Facility will see members through closure in 2023

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February 19, 2021

On February 12, 2021, the membership at Material Recovery Facility in Grafton ratified a three-year agreement.

Through an emotional and difficult round of bargaining, the Union Negotiating Committee worked hard to reach an agreement that will provide members with a good contract through to the workplace closure at the end of 2023.

Twenty-seven employees, including 16 full-time and 11 part-time, will be affected by the closure. Despite the planned closure, the Committee achieved monetary improvements in each year of the agreement and bonuses for those employees who stay until the plant closes.

Members at Material Recovery Facility will receive raises of 1.5% across the board in each of the three years of the agreement term. The boot allowance improves to provide $220 per year, up from $200.

If a full-time worker is reduced to part-time work due to layoffs, the employer will contribute $1,000 to the worker’s benefits plan premiums, up from $500. A number of members will also benefit from a reduction of the service needed to access retirement benefits: from 25 years to 20 years.

Negotiated severance provisions will ensure that years of service up until 2021 will be calculated at 40 hours per week for full-time even though the workweek has been reduced to 35 hours per week. Full-time employees reduced to part-time and existing part-time employees will also receive severance in accordance with the full-time calculations above.

In addition, employees who stay on until the closure will receive a $1,000 bonus. Language ensures that all layoffs will be offered by seniority.

“Despite the emotions involved in negotiating this contract, and especially having to bargain remotely through Zoom, the Union Committee members were diligent and focused on achieving a good agreement,” said Union Rep Dean McLaren. “I’m very proud of what they accomplished and I know their co-workers will appreciate their efforts.”

Union Negotiating Committee: Lisa Papst, Luc Papst, and Union Rep Dean McLaren.

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