A union vote — nearing 70 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement — has skirted a strike at the Trail smelter.
The bargaining committee representing United Steelworkers Local 480 and Local 480 Office and Technical (formerly Local 9705) announced Friday (July 8) night that 732 “yes” votes and 316 “no’s” means 69.8 per cent of the membership is in favour of ratification.
“We would like to thank the membership for their continued support through this process,” the committee stated. “And we appreciated your patience as we fought hard to get this contract.”
The five-year settlement includes a $12,000 signing bonus retroactive to June 1, as well as a $2,000 bonus annually from 2023 to 2026.
Also retroactive to June 1 is a two per cent wage increase, and moving forward, a two per cent wage increase annually until June 1, 2026.
Increases will also be coming to basic pension amounts, to the Wellness Account, dental plan, and more.
“With the cost of living being so high, and some other issues on site, some of the members aren’t happy and didn’t want this contract,” Chris Walker, president of the locals, told the Trail Times. “732 versus 316 in favor is still a decent number. Though, again, the major sticking point is definitely the cost of living right now.”
The agreement covers approximately 1,250 unionized employees at Trail operations.
“We are pleased to have reached a collective agreement that is fair to employees and supports the long-term sustainability of Trail operations,” said Thompson Hickey, general manager, Trail operations.