The United Steelworkers has reached a tentative agreement with Canadian Forest Products.
After a five-week pause in talks, Canfor and the USW resumed bargaining on Friday, Nov. 15 at the B.C. Labour Relation Board in an effort to get an agreement. While both parties were adamant that there was only a sliver of room to move, mediated talks allow them to overcome some key barriers that in the end cleared the way for a tentative deal late in the day.
In general terms, the five-year agreement provides significant pay enhancements for tradesmen, improvements to health and welfare benefits, stabilizes the pension plan, and seriously strengthens contract language surrounding the use of chargehands.
In addition to a signing bonus and percentage wage increases, the deal also provides cash payments in the third, fourth and fifth years, rate adjustments for log scalers and carpenters, and help for apprentice travel and living out expenses.
More details will be released once the B.C. Interior bargaining committee has had an opportunity to first discuss the tentative agreement with their members.
This tentative agreement will form the pattern for the remaining employers in the B.C. Interior.