Lockout at Horizon Plastics ends: Job Security achieved in ratified deal

January 30, 2014 at 9:39pm


After 22 days on the picket line, workers at Horizon Plastics have a four-year collective agreement that resolves a number of the outstanding issues that resulted in the rejection of earlier settlements.


The deal, ratified at a meeting held January 27, will see the employer begin recalling employees to work as of January 28, based on seniority and operational requirements, as the plant starts back up.


“Job security was the major thing the workers at Horizon wanted,” explained Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “This deal ensures that the full-time members will not see their hours or jobs disappear because of the use of a unionized flexible work group, and there are now tight constraints on the use of any outside agency workers.”


Language provides just cause protection to Flexible workers after 60 days’ worked. An extensive letter of agreement ensures that the use of flexible workers will not impact, replace or displace a full-time employee including anyone on layoff. Language also clarifies that all full-time workers will be offered any overtime, Monday-Friday, in order of seniority. Any overtime remaining will be offered to Flexible Work Group employees. Any Flexible Work Group employee who works more than 120 consecutive calendar days (Monday-Friday) will be reclassified to full-time status. Any overtime/additional hours will only be offered to outside workers after first refusal by full-time, part-time and flexible work group.


All employees as of November 1, 2013, receive lump sums of $450 following ratification, $400 in November 2014, and $400 in November 2015. Wage rates for all classifications will increase by 1.5% in November 2016.


Part-time workers as of November 1, 2013, will have the option of: Receiving a shift premium of $1.50 per hour for all hours worked beyond 8 hours per day and a one-time lump sum payment of $1,000 in addition to the lump sum wage payment outlined above; or, continue receiving 14 hours pay per 12 hours worked until April 30, 2014 at which time they will receive the $1.50 shift premium but will not be entitled to the $1,000 lump sum.


The work item allowances increase to provide $400 for tools and $170 for safety boots. Vision care coverage changes to provide $380 per 24-month period. In addition, outstanding issues regarding prescription drug coverage have been resolved.


Union Negotiating Committee: Thomas Bell, Wilfred Coupland, Jamie Hickman, Union Reps Paul Hardwick and Rob Nicholas, and Executive Assistant Ray Bromley.