This week in Montreal, the union marked the start of negotiations for a pattern agreement in Unifor’s pulp and paper sector.
"Unifor members make a pivotal contribution to the success of the Canadian pulp and paper industry, and we're seeking a contract to reflect that," said Scott Doherty, Unifor Assistant to the National President.
Intensive talks between the parties will continue over the next two weeks. The bargaining approach involves negotiating a standard that will set a pattern agreement on industry-wide issues with a target employer and then once agreed to by members the pattern is used as a template for negotiations with the remaining employers.
Resolute Forest Products was chosen as the target company for this round of negotiations. The talks will focus on issues such as wages, vacation, employee benefits, pension plans, and job security. “To be able to address the major challenge of retaining and renewing the workforce in this industry, we need to have job stability, investments in the facilities, good working conditions, and measures favouring work-life balance,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor’s Quebec Director.
All local workplace issues were settled in the past few weeks with the individual mills represented by the union.
Unifor represents over 1,000 members in Resolute mills in Amos, Baie-Comeau, Dolbeau-Mistassini, Gatineau, Kénogami, Saint-Félicien, Thorold and Thunder Bay. Unifor’s bargaining caucus is made up of over 50 delegates. Once signed, this pattern agreement will affect close to 15,000 Unifor members at various pulp and paper companies across Eastern Canada.