Lantic Sugar workers in Alberta win major gains in new contract

Pension shortfall made up by company: Union

Workers at Lantic Sugar in Taber, Alta., ratified a new collective agreement June 13 that was achieved through mediation, said the union.

Highlights of the five-year agreement include improved union representation rights, better scheduling and overtime provisions, improved vacation, better seniority language, improved leaves of absence and compassionate leave provisions, including for bereavement pay and better grievance procedures, according to the union.

United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW) Local 401 members also achieved financial improvements such as increases to the clothing and footwear allowance and tool allowance and a substantial increase in the employer’s dental plan contributions. Wage increases in each year of the deal were also obtained, said the UFCW.

As well, the union negotiating committee convinced the company to pay a $2.4 million dollar shortfall to the employees’ pension plan over the next five years while securing a guarantee to maintain the plan through the term of the contract. This commitment was crucial to getting the agreement ratified, as the pension’s stability was the single largest concern of the membership, said the union.

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