Canadian Tire is not know as a Union Employer but, in Nanaimo, the Service Department is represented by the Machinists Union. The store has seen a change of ownership and now is moving to a brand new facility in the fall. These two factors made bargaining a new Collective Agreement particularly challenging.
The old agreement pasted its renewal date without an agreement being reached, in spite of meetings going back to June 2012. Proposals made by the Employer did not find favour with the Membership, especially as the offer contained no wage increase. Negotiations were put on hold over the Xmas – New Year period.
When negotiations resumed in the spring the Employer showed some new flexibility, possibly because he was reminded that it is not wise to look at the relocation of an entire store while the Collective Agreement was outstanding. The Company put money on the table and a new agreement was quickly hammered out. An across-the-board increase of 2% was instituted, the Auto Techs’ guarantee of hours of pay was increased to 62 hours per pay period as the ability to earn money from maintenance duties was included. The Family Day statutory holiday was added. Clarification language for seniority provisions rounded out the Agreement.
Next year, the agreement comes up for renewal again. With the Service Department established in the brand new store by then, Machinists at Canadian Tire have confidence the next Agreement will not disappoint.
Pacific Chevrolet (formerly Dennis Jonsson Motor Products) in Port Alberni has a signed agreement. A three year deal, there are yearly increase of 1%, 1% and 1.5%. With inflation currently around ½%, this represents a real increase in income. The Members are splitting the increase between wages and pension. They are in the IAM national pension plan.
Technician John Ryper works on another vehicle in this truck orientated community of Port Alberni
Painter Brent Maxwell makes everything shiny.
Technician Larry Hovind refurbishes the brakes on another pickup truck
Partsman Chris Norris handles the customer side of the Parts business
Trade school pay was brought in line with the Supplementary Unemployment Benefits programme, allowing the topping up of wages to 95% without any EI clawback.
Family Day was added to statutory holidays bring the total to 11.
A few language adjustment round out this package. For Port Alberni, where the Pulp Mill workers agreed to a 10% rollback and the local economy is devastated, this is a solid agreement.
Union Members at Brown Bros. Ford in Vancouver BC have a new three year agreement. The agreement includes a 2% increase in each year. When compared to a Consumer Price Index for Vancouver in November 2012 of 0.2%, this is a substantial increase.
(l to r) Al Parayno and Gearge Ng
The right of our Members to have a Shop Steward present at any meeting which may lead to discipline further strengthens their rights and protections under the Collective Agreement.
Members will now enjoy an 11th statutory holiday on Family Day in February.
Karen Frig, Shop Steward
Taken together, the substantial real increase above inflation, a new holiday and the strengthened member protection further strengthen what was a first class contract.
The Rand Formula was a tremendous breakthrough for Canadian Unions (to learn more click here). For the first time in Canada, employers were required to deduct dues from every employee in the bargaining unit and forward the funds to the Union. All the services Unions in Canada provide are anchored by the dependable flow of dues. Under the Rand Formula, membership in the Union is optional but dues are not.
The vast majority of Machinists work in Union shops where, as a condition of employment, everyone joins the Union. But a few shops still were under the Rand Formula where membership, but not dues, was optional. Business Representative, Andrew Tricker, worked hard to make the dealership all Union.West Coast Ford Lincoln was under the Rand Formula but with the ratification of a new Collective Agreement, all workers in the Bargaining Unit are now members of the Machinists.
Wage increases of 1.5%, 1.75% and 2% form the basis of the new agreement. The tool allowance has been increased to $360.00 per year by 2014. Rounding out this three year deal, grandparents and in-laws have been added to the bereavement leave.