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Agreement ends Logistec lockout

November 10, 2008
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Glace Bay, N.S.–The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Nov. 7 reached a tentative agreement with Logistec Stevedoring, ending a nearly two-month employer lockout of workers who unload coal in Sydney harbour.

“Our guys stayed strong and stuck together,” said International President Cecil E. Roberts. “The support these members received from sister local unions in UMWA District 2 and Western Canada also boosted morale by showing our Logistec brothers that they were not alone in their struggle.”

The five-year pact, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008, features pay increases totaling $3.70 over term; a $1,250 signing bonus for apprentices, $1,000 for everyone else; improved grievance and arbitration procedures; sick-day carryover of up to 10 days; improved vacation language; recognition of Davis Day, thereby adding a contractual holiday; improvements in work schedules; shift premium increase by 25 cents; training reimbursement for tuition and books up to $1,000; and company-provided tools.

The 18 members of Cape Breton Local Union 2268 had worked without a contract since the beginning of the year when Logistec locked them out Sept. 15 after refusing to budge from an initial offer of a wage increase of 30 cents in each of two years. The company then engaged in hardball tactics, including going to court to secure an injunction against informational picketing by the workers.

“This bargaining unit included young guys for whom this was their first time in a labour dispute,” UMWA International Auditor-Teller Robert Burchell noted. “The company made it tough to negotiate, but thanks to solidarity, our members showed they would stay united for a solid contract.”

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