|The bargaining committee (from L): Ken Tober, Peter Yewell, director Kim Balmer, union representative Ravi Dhindsa and Harminder Brar.|
Abbotsford, B.C. – December 14, 2018 – Food processing workers at Snowcrest Foods, who are members of UFCW Canada Local 1518, have ratified a new contract that provides big gains on wages, leaves, premiums, and more.
Under the new four-year deal, workers at the frozen fruit processing company in Abbotsford, British Columbia will take major steps towards achieving wage parity between two different pay schedules.
As part of the new agreement, members covered by the lower-paying Schedule B will receive a wage hike of between 34 to 54 percent over four years. The higher-paid, longer service members who belong to Schedule A will receive wage increases of 11 percent over the life of the agreement.
“The union had a mandate to equalize the pay schedules. We weren’t able to fully close the gap, but we made significant strides,” says UFCW 1518 Director Kim Balmer.
As well, a range of “off work” hours and statutory leaves will now be counted as hours worked, putting more money in members’ pockets for fulfilling obligations like union leave, jury duty, and compassionate care. Other gains include a two dollar per hour heavy lifting premium for Schedule B labourers; a modest increase to the UFCW Dental Plan; an increase to the safety boot allowance; and a hike in severance pay in the event of a plant closure.
“Our bargaining committee did an excellent job,” says UFCW 1518 Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak. “I’d like to thank committee members Harminder Brar, Ken Tober, and Peter Yewell for their hard work in winning the best agreement possible for members,” she adds.
UFCW Canada Local 1518 represents over 20,000 members working in a diverse range of industries across British Columbia and the Yukon, including the retail food, community health, seasonal agriculture, and professional service sectors. To learn more about UFCW 1518, visit their website.