Trochu, Alta. – July 19, 2016 – UFCW Canada Local 1118 members working at Sunterra Meats in Trochu, Alberta have overwhelmingly ratified their first collective agreement.
After recently voting to join Canada's leading strike and lockout resource, the UFCW Canada National Defence Fund (NDF), the bargaining committee met with the employer and was able to settle a number of key issues.
Sunterra operates several meat processing facilities in rural Alberta, as well as a range of small grocery outlets in urban centres. The Trochu facility employs approximately 100 UFCW Canada Local 1118 members.
Among the various gains for members, the new collective agreement includes:
A negotiated wage grid with increases of 5%, 2%, and 2.5% for each respective year of the collective agreement, totalling 9.5% over two and a half years;
A minimum weekly hour guarantee for members;
A health care spending account and retirement contributions;
Overtime pay after 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week;
A closed, union shop with a strong union voice and visibility in the workplace; and
Just cause and other provisions surrounding job security and fairness in the workplace.
Until a strike vote was called, the employer would not agree to essential provisions dealing with union security and just cause.
"Unfortunately, it took the threat of a strike and the full strength of our union and the NDF for the employer to take the members' concerns seriously," says UFCW 1118 Secretary Treasurer and co-lead negotiator Devin Yeager.
"It didn't have to be that way, but we are hopeful that we can now move towards a healthy collective bargaining relationship that benefits the members, their families, and the Trochu community,” he adds.