UFCW Local 175 members at Ridgewood Industries ratify new contract
The 300 members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 employed at Ridgewood Industries in Cornwall have a new four-year collective agreement following a ratification vote held June 5, 2016.
Employees receive a general wage increases of 35 cents per hour, retroactive for hours worked since April 1, 2016, plus subsequent increases totalling $1 per hour over the remainder of the contract term. Back up operators and operators receive a rate increase to $15 per hour, up from the current $13, and then to $16 per hour in 2018. Shift premiums also increase to provide an additional five cents per hour retroactive to April 1, 2016, and another five-cent increase in 2018. Employees now have the opportunity to transfer shifts and/or departments prior to the company hiring new staff for that position
“The negotiating committee members worked hard to achieve this contract,” said Union Rep Daniel Mercier. “It marks significant improvements for these members over their previous agreement.”
Health benefit plan premiums, and annual increases to those premiums, will be paid 100% by the employer for the duration of the agreement. Further, new hires will now qualify for benefits after six months instead of the previous nine months. The short-term disability benefit improves to provide $100 more per week.
Additional monetary improvements include a tool allowance of $225 per year for maintenance employees plus new uniform language, and license renewal fee reimbursement of up to $200, for the same classification. All employees receive an improved safety boot allowance of $100 per year, up from the previous $80. Members also receive tuition reimbursement of up to $150 per year for an employer-approved workplace education course.