TORONTO, ON – A six-week lockout of employees at the Molson Coors plant on Carlingview Drive in west Toronto is set to end thanks to the ratification of a new contract over the weekend.
Negotiations between Molson Coors and the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers Local 325 started in late October 2020, but reached an impasse in February, leading to a lockout on the evening of February 19th.
Sources told the Toronto Star that employees voted 149-117 in favour of a new collective agreement that was struck between the company and the union last week.
According to the report, the deal varies little from the offer that the union had rejected before the lockout:
The new collective agreement approved by the union members includes many of the same contentious provisions that Local 325 had fought bitterly against during weeks of negotiations leading up to the lockout, including keeping a two-tier wage structure, shifting employees to a defined contribution pension system, and a new “continental” scheduling system that could see some employees working 12-hour shifts. The union had asked the company to gradually eliminate the two-tier wage system, which had been in place at the plant since 2010.
The biggest differences between the company’s “final” offer rejected in February and the one approved this weekend are that the latest agreement is for four years, not three; the transition to the new pension will be phased in over three years; and there will be 1.5 overtime pay for some of the 12-hour shifts. Weekend shifts will also be more widely spread among workers at the plant. The deal approved on the weekend didn’t include a signing bonus, unlike the February offer, which had offered a $1,000 bonus.
Employees will be returning to work at the plant tomorrow (April 6th).
Source: Toronto Star