Steelworkers negotiate across-the-board improvements at bearings manufacturer

Members of USW Local 9042-23 have ratified a new five-year collective agreement that brings across-the board improvements for 114 workers at NTN Bearing in Mississauga, Ont.

The employer opened bargaining demanding the stability of a five-year agreement, longer than the union’s preference for three-year contracts. With the solidarity of the workers behind the bargaining committee, the union was able to get good wage gains and other improvements in exchange for the longer term.

The union negotiated wage increases of 2.75% in each of the first three years of the agreement, and 3% in each of years four and five, for total wage gains of 14.25%.

Workers ratified the new agreement with a vote of 80%.

The workers, who make bearings, constant velocity joints and other precision industrial and automotive equipment were successful in bargaining a faster progression to the top wage rate in a number of job classifications, reducing how long someone has to work to earn the top rate to 36 months from 48 months.

The new agreement improves the afternoon and midnight shift premiums. The employer has increased the amount it will pay towards safety boots each year.

Other areas where gains were made include massage benefits and vision care. The new contract maintains 100% employer-paid benefits, with the union successfully resisting the employer’s proposal for an 80-20 co-pay where employees would cover 20% of benefit costs.

“We worked right through the pandemic and haven’t stopped,” said Janet Moffat, unit president of USW Local 9042, Unit 23. “We’ve been recognized as one of NTN’s top plants in North America with the lowest COVID-related incidents. We needed the company to recognize that we are working with them and to be appreciated for continuing to make bearings through this difficult time.”

The bargaining committee successfully negotiated one paid sick day in the first year of the deal and two paid sick days each following year for the term of the agreement.

“Congratulations to the members of USW Local 9042-23 at NTN Bearing. By sticking together, they were able to negotiate good wage increases across the board, a testament to their hard work and determination,” said Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director.

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