New Flyer, CWA reach agreement

4-year deal includes wage increases for worker at St. Cloud, Minn., plant

New Flyer Industries and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have reached a new four-year contract for workers at its plant in St. Cloud, Minn.

CWA workers ratified the agreement, which is retroactive to April 1, 2013, and will expire on March 31. 2017. It replaces a previous agreement that expired on March 31, 2013.

"This new collective agreement is representative of the strong and continued partnership between New Flyer and the CWA. I would like to thank the CWA, their membership and the New Flyer team for a negotiation that was done professionally, constructively, efficiently and delivered a fair agreement for both parties," said Paul Soubry, president and CEO of Winnipeg-based New Flyer, a manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses.

What’s in the agreement?

The new agreement provides annual wage increases of 2.5 per cent in year one, 2.5 per cent in year two, two per cent in year three and 2.25 per cent in year four.

It also freezes entry level wage scales and increases time progression to full rate for new employees during the term of the agreement, the employer said. The parties have agreed to an increase in employee medical cost share contributions.

The unionized workforce in St. Cloud represents about 19 per cent of New Flyer's total workforce in the United States and Canada.

New Flyer has three manufacturing facilities — in Winnipeg, St. Cloud, Minn., and Crookston, Minn. It also h as a parts fabrication facility in Elkhart, Ind., and four parts distribution centres in Winnipeg, Brampton, Ont., Erlanger, Ky., and Fresno, Calif. It also operates a service centre in Arnprior, Ont.

It’s total workforce is about 2,200 employees.

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