450 Unifor Members In Dryden Approve Substantial Wage Gains in Mill and Woodlands Deals with Domtar

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Domtar Dryden
Domtar Dryden
DRYDEN – Over 450 Unifor members in Dryden voted overwhelmingly in favor of 3 new contracts with Domtar on Thursday night. About 225 wood harvesting, trucking, road construction and chipping employees from Unifor Local 324 voted 100% in favor of their new deal while ​225 maintenance, production and office employees from Unifor Local 105 at the Dryden Pulp Mill voted 96% in favor of two new contracts.
Stephen Boon, Unifor National Representative said, “As indicated by the extremely high vote results, Unifor members in Dryden were very pleased with the improvements and significant wage gains negotiated with Domtar last week. All 3 deals achieve Unifor’s Eastern Canada Pulp and Paper Pattern and the total monetary packages contain some of the largest monetary improvements in the forest sector in over 35 years.” Boon added, “these agreements provide long-term stability for Domtar or any potential buyer of the mill, but most importantly, these deals address the soaring cost of inflation impacting Unifor members and their families in Dryden and Ear Falls. The timing couldn’t be better as instead of preparing for strike votes and a further escalation of bargaining set to begin in the New Year, we are extremely pleased that 450 Unifor families in Dryden and Ear Falls can instead focus on holiday festivities and ​4 years of prosperity under these historic agreements.”
Top pay in the woodlands operations will increase to $49.28/hour with top pulp mill pay reaching $55.26/hour by the final year of the new contracts.

Key Terms of New Domtar Pulp Mill and Woodlands Contracts

  • 4 year term (September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2026);
  • Salary adjustments of $2.50/hour for all production members and $3.50/hour for members in the trades over the term;
  • Additional General wage increases of 3% in the 2022, $1.30/hour in the 2023, 3% in the 2024 and $1.30/hour in the 2025;
  • In total, wages will increase 22% to 24% over the term of the agreements;
  • Significant enhancements to group benefits ($100 for vision, $200 increase in dental and orthodontics, $10,000 increase in life insurance, $1,000 for eye surgery and improvements in  short and long-term disability);
  • Night and Evening Shift Premium increased by $0.10/hour;
  • Third week of vacation after 2 years of service;
  • Double time for Sunday overtime after 4 hours;
  • Union representatives will have a paid 30 minute period to meet with all new employees;
  • $75 increase in annual boot allowance;
  • Improved bereavement and statutory holiday pay based on regular scheduled hours;
  • New maternity leave top-up program;
  • New Unifor Women and Gender Diverse People’s Advocate;​
  • An additional $1,020 annually in employer pension contributions for all Local 324 woodlands workers;
  • 11% increase in Local 324 woodlands daily commuting per diem to $50 per day;​
  • $15 increase in Local 105 meal tickets to $50 at the pulp mill;
  • new 7% supervisory and trainer premium for Local 105 pulp mill agreements;​

The Unifor Eastern Canada Pulp and Paper Pattern Agreement is model contract for Unifor forestry operations which allows for items such as wages, benefits and pensions to be negotiated at a common table.

The 2022 to 2026 model contract was established in May with Resolute Forest Products and serves as a basis for negotiation with all other employers in the forest industry. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 24,000 in the forestry sector.​

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