Steelworkers ratify new contracts with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Agreements include wage increases, seniority rights

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Limited — formerly Atomic Energy of Canada Limited — recently ratified new collective agreements with the employees at its laboratories in Chalk River, Ont.

The 884 workers covered by the new contracts are represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 4096 and 1568. Local 4096 members ratified a two-year contract that will run until 2016 while the Local 1568 members ratified a three-year agreement set to expire in 2017.

The agreements include 1.5 per cent annual wage increases, an expedited arbitration system to deal with grievances, extended income supplements for parental leave and a new process to address issues of contracting out.

Local 1568’s contract included the restoration of seniority rights while the agreement with Local 4096 gained paid leave for its president.

“These agreements reflect the respectful approach that the union and the employer brought to the bargaining table,” Local 1568 president Vickie Hulley and Local 4096 president Paulette Benoit said in a joint statement.

“Both sides wanted to reach a fair deal without a labour dispute and demonstrated a genuine willingness to resolve key issues.”

According to the union, numerous longstanding grievances were resolved during the bargaining process. The employees — formerly members of the Chalk River Technicians and Technologists union — voted to join the USW in November 2013.

“Given the challenging nature of these negotiations, it is a tremendous achievement by these new Steelworkers to have reached good collective agreements,” USW Ontario director Marty Warren said.

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