Strike Narrowly Avoided at Wexxar Packaging!
November 11, 2010
Delta, BC Benefits are not the usual make or break strike issue in most contract negotiations but they were certainly front and center in talks between IAMAW Local Lodge 692 and Wexxar Packaging.
Mediation had produced a four-year agreement but the sticking point was who was going to pay for Long and Short term disability benefits, explained IAMAW District Lodge 250 Business Representative Paul Pelletreau. The company wanted the employees to pay for all disability coverage with a seven day waiting period instead of the current 3 days. When the Union refused, the company then proposed the introduction of a two-tiered system where it would pay for Long and Short term Disability for current employees but new hires would have to pay for their disability coverage. Backed with a 97 per cent strike mandate from its membership, the Union bargaining committee refused the offer and a strike appeared imminent. We reluctantly accepted a compromise where the company will pay Short-Term Disability coverage for new hires but the two-tier system is in effect for Long-Term coverage with a waiting period formula of 3 days for the first leave, 5 days for the second and 7 days for the third leave within a two year period.
The four-year agreement provides for a 1 percent wage increase retroactive to July 2010, and wage increases of 1 percent in 2011, 2 per cent in 2012, 2.25 per cent in 2013 and 1.25 per cent in 2014. The agreement also provides for increased contributions to the IAM-Labour Management Pension Fund of $ .25 per hour in 3rd and 4th years respectively.
The 43 members manufacture packaging machinery for the Canadian food industry.
IAMAW, among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, represents more than 700,000 active and retired members, and administers more than 5,000 contracts in transportation, woodworking, aerospace, manufacturing and defense related industries.
-30-For more information contact
District Lodge 250 Business Representative
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