Negotiating into 2024
After another busy week, we are writing to provide you with another update about what is happening at the bargaining table.
This week’s discussions focused on wages, length of the agreement, benefits, expenses, and other monetary items.
Both parties have made movement at the table and have made considerable effort to have an agreement by end of year. But, unfortunately, we are heading home for Christmas Holidays without an agreement.
While we remain committed to our goal of getting the best possible agreement in a timely manner, there are several matters outstanding that have not been resolved.
The major sticking points preventing an agreement are wages and benefits.
The Company’s position on benefits changes includes the implementation of a Flex Benefits Plan like that accepted by IBEW and TCRC (but not at UNIFOR). After much deliberation, and after consulting with the USW research department, we believe that such a plan does not meet the needs of our members and is a concession is unacceptable in todays climate.
Likewise, the Company’s position on compensation is not yet acceptable given the current bargaining climate.
That said, we still believe the week was positive and productive and the parties were able to narrow many of the issues.
The Company has expressed a willingness to improve some aspects of our financial package, even if we cannot yet agree to final numbers.
We believe we are still headed toward obtaining a fair Memorandum of Agreement without dispute.
Currently we are not in a strike or lockout position, and it will be business as usual.
We remain optimistic and committed to the best deal possible for both parties and will update the members in detail early in the New Year. The Bargaining Committee wishes you all a happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!