CAW Inks New Deal with Lakeside Steel
November 8, 2011, 3:30 PM EST
CAW Local 523 members working at the Lakeside Steel facility in Welland, Ontario voted 78 per cent in favour of a new three-year collective agreement on November 1.
The new agreement includes hourly wage increases of 1.95 per cent and 2.25 per cent in years two and three, respectively. Workers will receive a cost of living adjustment in year one, estimated at 98 cents/hour.
The agreement also contains dental and vision care benefit improvements, new job training opportunities and increases to monthly long-term disability (LTD) payments, among other gains.
"When you look at the collective agreement, there's lots to be happy about," CAW Local 523 President Rick Alakas told the Niagara Falls Review. "There isn't a portion of the collective agreement monetarily where we didn't get something."
CAW National Staff Representative Doug Orr called the deal a major breakthrough for Lakeside Steel workers, following years of economic uncertainty including bankruptcy protection in 2005 (under former owner Stelco) and ownership changes. New investment in recent years has breathed new life into the facility, securing jobs.
"Our bargaining committee resolved to negotiate a good collective agreement for the members, and they did a tremendous job," Orr said.
CAW Local 523 represents 350 workers at the historic, 102-year old Lakeside Steel facility. The new agreement will run until October 31, 2014.