Good news from Mike Eagan, Vice President Local 973, via Facebook last evening:
“Collective agreement ratified
77% in favour including the skilled trades vote.
See you all at work”
It was actually a really poor turnout for voting, and I’m rather shocked by that. This was important, and just slightly more than half of the workforce turned up to listen to the proposal and vote on it. This directly affected you and your families along with everyone else, and you didn’t even show up. Very shoddy, folks. Unacceptable.
The contract had a few minor changes, some fairly substantial changes and a lower pay scale where new temps are concerned, and some required attrition via early retirement packages. Very minor cost of living increases with a lump sum signing bonus and wage freeze for this year, and small increases over the next 2 years, which we can live with. No changes to benefits that I can see. It all went very smoothly… and just a lot too easily in my opinion. It strikes me as a setup for the next contract, where Coke is likely going to attempt some far more extreme measures. Granted I was not present at the meeting, and would love to be wrong about that, but time will tell.
In any case, we’re happy that we have avoided any kind of lockout or strike, and it’s business as usual for most workers. From what I understand, Coke was prepared for a very lengthy strike/lockout in the neighbourhood of 3 months or more if things had not gone well.
We now have 3 years to dwell on and prepare for the next contract in 2019. Use this time wisely, because I’m sure it will not go as smoothly next time.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this negotiation and those who came out to vote. Thanks to Coke for remaining civil and above board this time. Kudos to the Union negotiation team – we appreciate your time and efforts on our behalf.
Work safe, everyone. Have a great day!