Strike Mandate from Members at Redpath Sugar
On March 11, 2018, Members at Redpath Sugar in Belleville turned down a final offer from the employer and voted 90% in favour of taking strike action.
The Union Negotiating Committee met with the employer on eight occasions. On the eighth day, the parties met in conciliation. At the end of that day, the employer tabled a final offer, which the Members voted down at the March 11 meeting.
“The Members at Redpath gave their committee a strong message with the strike vote,” said President Haggerty. “They will do what they need to, to achieve a fair deal that addresses their concerns, and the Union will have their backs.”
Members want to end, or at least significantly reduce, the two-tier wage grid and benefit contribution level gaps. Wages for employees hired before November 28, 2010 are $3.85 per hour more than those hired after that date. The Union negotiating committee made up some ground in this area, but it was not enough to satisfy the Membership. In addition, the employer pays 100% of the benefit premiums for employees hired before November 28, 2010. However, any employees hired after that date must pay 20% of the premium cost.
The Members wanted strong language in the contract limiting the employer’s use of temporary workers instead of hiring additional full-time employees. Lastly, the Members wanted the issue of mandatory overtime dealt with as well.
The current agreement for the approximately 80 Members at Redpath Sugar expired December 10, 2017. The Union requested a No Board report from the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) on March 12.
Union Negotiating Committee: (l-r in the photo) Jason Snell, Neil Asselstine, Pat Holmes and Alex MacQuarrie. Not pictured is Union Rep Paul Hardwick.