The ink has now dried on the new five-year agreement between the city’s largest employer and its employees.
On Friday Teck Trail Operations and locals 480 and 9705 of the United Steelworkers put final signatures on the new collective agreement for Trail operations after one month of negotiations that began in earnest April 30.
The agreement was ratified and commences June 1, running through to May 31, 2017, replacing the three-year agreement that expired May 31.
Discussions between the union and the company were very “positive and productive,” said Teck communications manager Carol Vanelli Worosz.
“A five-year term offers us a great deal of stability in terms of Trail Operations moving forward for the next five years,” she said. “It is a very busy time with two new projects hitting the ground last week with the No. 4 furnace and the acid plant starting up.”
The contract covers 1,180 people in Local 480 on the production and maintenance side, and 170 people in Local 9705 for the office and technical workers.
Doug Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 480, was unavailable for comment at press time however, last week he said the tentative deal carried an 18 per cent increase over five years of the contract, a 12 per cent boost in pension, and a $10,000 signing bonus.
As a result of the new deal, Teck will incur a one-time after-tax charge to earnings in the second quarter of approximately $34 million related to a signing bonus and enhancements to pension and post-retirement benefits.
The five-year deal follows on the heels of a “really successful bargaining in 2008” for the union’s now expired contract, after a three-month strike in 2005.
“It is a very exciting time at Teck Trail Operations to have the agreement and to be moving forward with our new projects,” Vanelli Worosz said.
In late September, 2011, Teck announced they would invest $210 million to recycle end-of-life electronic waste in Trail through the No. 4 furnace project, as well as construction of a slag fuming furnace and settling furnace. The two furnaces will be situated at the southeast corner of the property, overlooking downtown and the Columbia River.
Around 500,000 man-hours of work will be involved in the No. 4 furnace project, meaning approximately 200 construction jobs over two years when the project is complete in 2014.