USW Local 665 in Terrace Bay, Ont., have ratified a new four-year contract, retroactive to May 1, 2022.
The 270 Steelworkers work at AV Terrace Bay, where they manufacture Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp (NBSK). The pulp is then sent to manufacturers in the United States to make paper towel, bathroom tissue, diapers and other paper-based retail products.
The union’s new agreement sees a 19.5% wage increase for members working in operations and 23.6% for members in ticketed trades and power engineers, over the life of the contract. Overtime rates and the company’s contribution to the pension plan also are being increased.
The local union’s preparations for negotiations began before it exchanged proposals with the employer. A bargaining survey was sent to the membership and the input of members guided the bargaining committee’s formulation of its proposals. The committee also performed an extensive review of other comparable collective agreements and a thorough review of the local’s existing contract in order to get a better sense of where to prioritize its proposals.
“Our local union came to the bargaining table equipped with the tools we needed to succeed. We participated in a bargaining preparation course, we did our research, and more importantly, we listened to our members on what was important to them,” said USW Local 665 President Seppo Vataja.
Other contract highlights included increases in vision care and dental benefits, improved job security language and a streamlined job posting procedure.
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