Union members ratify five-year contract with Canada's Purolator
Parcel and express delivery company Purolator has sealed a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with its unionised workforce in Canada, based on a 16% increase in wages over the period of the deal. The Teamsters Union had reached a tentative agreement last month, which saw 92% of the 8,800 members voting in favour last week.
As well as a 16% wage rise over the five years, the agreement will see worker pension plans increasing 22%. Benefits are also “significantly improved” according to the union, with retirement allowances up 40%.
Purolator, which is 91% owned by Canada Post Corporation, yesterday welcomed the “overwhelmingly” positive response by union members to the agreement.
Tom Schmitt, Purolator’s president and CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased with the ratification of the agreement between Purolator and the Teamsters Union, and the strength of the vote. This long-term agreement demonstrates the strength of our relationship with our unionised teammates and marks an important step forward for our company and customers.”
The Teamsters Union, which represents workers including delivery and line haul drivers, as well as package handlers, said the contract put its members that work for Purolator “at the top of this industry in Canada”, and meant job security and stability for the next five years.
The union said it took a stand in negotiations, making it clear to Purolator that it would not allow an extension of talks beyond the end of the existing labour contract, which runs out at the end of this month.
Gary Kitchen, director of the Teamsters package and parcel division, and chairman of the negotiating committee, said: “The wage package and pension improvements, as well as all the other gains, were key highlights to this agreement. I also believe that our bargaining strategy played a major role in helping us achieve such a successful and outstanding agreement.”
Canada’s government minister for labour, Lisa Raitt, congratulated Purolator and the union on reaching their agreement.
“I am very pleased that Purolator and the Canada Council of Teamsters have reached a negotiated agreement without interruption to services,” she said. “Strong labour-management relations benefit our country’s economic prosperity and the economic security of Canadians.”
Purolator has remained a profitable part of Canada Post, but in the first nine months of 2011 has seen its profits down 17.6% compared to the same period last year.