Unions and Catalyst Paper reach 5 year contract agreement
The new contracts will go into effect at the expiry of the current contract on April 30, 2012.
“Approval of the new labour agreements lets everyone know that the people who make up Catalyst are taking the actions necessary to save jobs and ensure we have a viable and competitive business for the future,” said Kevin J. Clarke, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We appreciate there is still an enormous amount of work to do to complete the restructuring plan that will enable the company to exit creditor protection on solid footing going forward.”
The agreements which will be effective from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2017 include a 10% reduction in hourly rates along with various adjustments to vacation, health benefits and work rules necessary to provide Catalyst with a competitive labour cost structure. The agreements also maintain hourly retiree health benefits. Annual savings in the range of $18 to $20 million are expected.
Many workers feel the steep concessions are unacceptable, but have chosen the concessions as the lesser of two evils when the alternative could be the closure or sale of their mill.
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) locals 1, 76, 592, 686 and 1132 represent 700 employees at the three mills.
The Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers Union of Canada (PPWC) local 2 represents approximately 380 employees at the Crofton pulp mill.
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- Crofton workers continue negotiations with Catalyst Paper
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- Crofton PPWC Local 2 votes 'no' to tentative agreement
- Crofton ratification vote scheduled for Saturday
- Catalyst Paper's reaction to Crofton 'no' vote