MONTREAL—Over 120 Unifor delegates kicked off bargaining preparation for the pattern agreement in the pulp and paper industry in Eastern Canada by selecting Resolute Forestry Products as the target company.
I’m eager to get forestry workers what they deserve: a fair collective agreement that reflects their contributions to the industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The forestry industry in Canada is well-positioned for a pattern agreement that reflects workers’ priorities.”
Unifor delegates met over the past few days to prepare the list of priorities and select the target company.
“One of our top priorities is renewing the forestry workforce in the coming years,” explained Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “We have to make sure that the working conditions are not only attractive, but also that they are good enough to retain workers, especially in terms of work-life balance.”
During the pattern bargaining in the pulp and paper industry, the union will sit down with the target employer to negotiate monetary issues such as wages, benefits, and pension plans. Once an agreement is reached, it will serve as a template for negotiations with all the other industry employers, including paper mills, sawmills, forestry operations, etc. In all, some 15,000 members will be affected by the eastern pattern agreement.
“We are not going to let anyone impose anything on us based on temporary factors,” said Dias, speaking of the controversial U.S. Duties on forestry products levied in 2017.
The union will be contacting Resolute in the coming days to discuss the negotiating process and establish a bargaining schedule.