MONTREAL, Que.–Members of four Unifor locals across Ontario and Quebec, after bargaining as a team, have ratified a new three-year collective agreement that includes pay increases and improvements to scheduling to help ensure a more stable workweek.
“This deal shows what is possible when we work together,” said Francis Paquette, a member of the Unifor bargaining team and a unit chair with Local 1044 in Quebec City.
“Sitting at the table with our Ontario locals made all the difference.”
The new contract was ratified today by the 220 members of Unifor Locals 1090 and 27 in Ajax and London, Ontarioand Locals 698 and 1044 in Montreal and Quebec City who work at Jack Cooper (JP2), a commercial trucking firm specializing in transporting automobiles.
The drivers are paid through a combination of a piece rate for loading the automobiles onto their trucks, and the mileage incurred transporting the vehicles to their destinations. By bargaining as a group, all four locals were able to negotiate substantial increases to both payments.
The piece rate is increasing by seven per cent in the first year of the contract, and 2.5 per cent in each of the following two years. As well, the mileage rate is increasing 2 cents per mile to 54.95 cents by the third year of the contract. The new contract expires on January 10, 2018.
Unifor Local 1090 President Steve Batchelor said the contract improvements come at a time when non-Unifor car-haulers are accepting collective agreements with concessions or pay freezes.
“This contract really shows the value of Unifor locals working as one. As more truckers join Unifor, we will be able to make even more gains,” Batchelor said.
“Unifor has shown this sector that we can be the voice of workers in the car hauling industry and collectively we need to address the influx of non-union carriers into Canada.”
Other members of the four locals, including mechanics, yard workers and clerical staff, also saw wage increases ranging from $3,500 to over $10,000 in base hourly wages. There were also improvements to scheduling rules in hopes of creating more stable and consistent work weeks, and improved allowances for tools, winter clothes and safety equipment. Overtime and job bidding language was also improved as well as a Pension contribution increase.