WESTERN Forest Products Inc. announced on Saturday that its hourly employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 have voted in support of the tentative agreement to replace the collective agreement that expired on June 14, 2019. The new five-year collective agreement is effective from June 15, 2019, and expires on June 14, 2024, and provides for general wage increases as follows:
“We are pleased to have a new collective agreement in place that recognizes the important contributions our employees make and enables Western to serve our customers who, through their purchases support thousands of jobs on the coast of British Columbia,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are focused on planning for a safe return to work, and while our goal is to begin operating as soon as possible, startup will be contingent on availability of employees and contractors, market demand, weather conditions and sufficient log supply.”
The new agreement also provides for improvements to health and welfare benefits and clarifies the application of Western’s Alcohol and Drug Policy. Western has maintained its management rights to operate alternate shifts while agreeing to an enhanced shift review process. The agreement also provides the company with additional operational flexibility in its Timberlands operations through the ability to introduce additional USW contractors to ensure it is meeting its Annual Allowable Cut requirements.