HAWKESBURY, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) employed at Montebello Packaging in Hawkesbury have made big gains in a new collective agreement with the company.
The Montebello workers, members of USW Local 6565, have voted to ratify a four-year collective agreement that reverses a two-tier wage system and calls for pay increases for many employees ranging from $3 to $7 per hour by the end of the contract. In addition to significant adjustments for lower-paid employees, all workers will receive 2% annual wage increases over the term of the agreement.
Montebello manufactures aluminum, laminate and plastic packaging for pharmaceutical, personal care, cosmetics, household, industrial and food products.
The USW and the company agreed to negotiate a new collective agreement well in advance of the January 2021 expiry of their existing contract. The new, four-year agreement will be in place from Feb. 1, 2021, to Jan. 31, 2025.
The company and union negotiated the reversal of the two-tier wage system, in which newer hires were on a lower pay scale, in order to improve the recruitment and retention of qualified new workers. The company has indicated it plans to hire new workers in the near future.
Other gains in the new collective agreement include benefit improvements, particularly the introduction of a prescription drug card with a significant increase in coverage for employees and dependents, as well as dental plan enhancements.
“I congratulate the parties for negotiating a fair collective agreement in a challenging time, which was achieved in a spirit of collaboration at the bargaining table,” said Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director.
“This contract provides well-deserved improvements, recognizing the fact that the employees are, first and foremost, the people who contribute the most to the company’s success,” Warren said.
Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, 416-243-8792
Richard Leblanc, USW Eastern Ontario Area Co-ordinator, 613-632-2995, [email protected]
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]