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Overtime & Temp workers key issues in Horizon Plastics negotiations

December 20, 2017 at 10:57am

The 200 employees at Horizon Plastics in Cobourg secured a new agreement on December 13, 2017.

The parties reached the agreement with the assistance of a Conciliation Officer on December 7. A strike deadline had been set for 12:01 a.m. December 7. Key issues that caused the strike vote and led to conciliation included overtime distribution and the use of temp agency workers.

Through conciliation, the parties agreed to clarify and elaborate on the overtime scheduling system. Overtime allocation had led to a number of grievances and frustration among the Members at the plant. In addition, there was no consequence to the employer for improper scheduling of overtime hours.

As a result, going forward an employee that should have received overtime will inform the employer of the day and time they wish to work the available hours. It may be over and above regular work hours for that day as it does not have to be a day the employer requires someone for overtime work. This process will not displace another worker or prevent another worker from completing already scheduled overtime on that day. In effect, now any overtime not scheduled properly will cost the employer financially.

Temp agency use was the second main issue in these negotiations. Throughout the year, the employer made use of temp agency workers. The Union negotiating committee achieved language that limits temp agency use in the facility. The agreement now limits the number of times a temp worker can be scheduled before they become permanent and part of the bargaining unit.

The four-year contract contains 2% increases in each year, plus a signing bonus of $200 as well. In addition, shift premiums improve for work in the evenings and on nights. Members benefit from an increase to their health spending account in each year of the contract term. All new hires receive a 15-minute orientation meeting.  Lastly, other language improvements provide enhanced bereavement leave, plus better vacation options and a clarified request process.

Union Negotiating Committee: Tom Bell, Jamie Hickman, Brian Davey and Union Reps Paul Hardwick and Joe Tenn.