Strong Agreement at Hitachi Truck in Guelph, Ontario
March 5, 2013, 4:35 PM EST
CAW Local 1917 members have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year collective agreement with Hitachi Construction Truck in Guelph, Ontario that provides strong wage and benefit gains as well as several pension improvements.
Workers voted 86 per cent in favour of the new agreement at a ratification meeting March 3.
"Despite the incredibly tough economic environment our bargaining committee was successful in achieving major improvements," said Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW President. "We made gains in most areas and have built a strong foundation for future agreements," Dias said.
"This was the toughest round of bargaining our committee and membership has faced at Hitachi, but the solidarity of the membership and the hard work of this committee resulted in a strong agreement," said Robin Dudley, President of CAW Local 1917.
CAW National Representative Jim Robinson said "this is one of the strongest agreements we've had at Hitachi with multiple gains for our members, who showed tremendous solidarity."
Wages will increase two per cent in each year of the agreement. Benefit improvements include dental, vision, hearing aids, and life insurance gains among others.
In addition there is a $1 increase to the defined benefit pension plan in the third year, which applies to all who retire during the agreement.
Other improvements include a full-time chairperson, new member orientation and four additional paid holidays over the life of the agreement. It also includes agreement on the option for 42 workers to take an advantage of an early retirement window, which will provide an unreduced pension as well as continuation of group benefits to age 65.
The CAW represents more than 225 workers at the Guelph plant, which produces large mining and construction trucks. The company is in the final phases of completing a $30 million expansion at the Guelph plant.