CAW Membership Ratify First Collective Agreement with Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc.

October 29, 2012, 2:45 PM EST

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CAW Local 4401 members have ratified their first collective agreement with Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc. after voting 85% in favour of the contract. This first agreement closes the loop on the sale of the Upper Lakes Shipping Fleet to Algoma Central Corporation in 2011.

Ratification was conducted by secret ballot mail-in vote following membership information meetings held on board Algoma's CAW represented vessels. The CAW Local 4401 Executive Committee unanimously recommended acceptance of the new agreement.

The four-year contract provides wage increases of 3% retroactive to April 1, 2011 and 2% retroactive to April 1, 2012 and minimum wage increases of 1.5% in each of the last two years of the contract. Consumer Price Index based cost of living wage protection for the 2013 and 2014 wage increases will also apply should annual average inflation rates exceed 1.5%. Employer paid comprehensive health benefits and an updated defined contribution pension plan were also maintained.

"This new contract also contains commitments by Algoma to begin renewing our aging fleet", said CAW Local 4401 President Jim MacDougall. "Job security was an important bargaining goal for our members in these negotiations and everyone was pleased that the company agreed to add three new vessels to the CAW represented side of operations."

CAW Local 4401 operates a Union Hiring Hall in St. Catharines, Ontario (905-227-7717) and represents over 400 members sailing on the Great Lakes for Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc. and other marine industry employers. Seafarers can contact the Union Hiring Hall regarding employment opportunities and other marine industry work related concerns.

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