After four months of bargaining a tentative agreement has been reached to renew the Bell Craft contract, following several intense days of negotiations in Montreal.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement. Unifor’s bargaining committee did a great job and kept the members’ needs front and centre throughout negotiations,” said Unifor National Representative Alain Portelance who chaired the contract talks.
Details of the new tentative agreement will be released at ratification meetings in the coming weeks. Impacted by the contract are more than 3,800 technicians in Ontario and Quebec that Unifor represents. Members will be notified of times and places for the ratification votes as meeting details are confirmed.
The collective agreement expired November 30, 2016 while negotiations commenced in Ottawa on September 15, 2016.
Bargaining to renew the Bell Craft collective agreement resumed after a break in December last week in Montreal, following the direct involvement by Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Bell senior management contacted Dias directly, declaring an interest in pursuing further discussions at the bargaining table. In a conference call on December 27 between Dias and bargaining committee members, the group agreed to pause holding a strike vote while new bargaining dates were set.
Those talks resumed January 13, and continued through the past weekend, concluding in the early hours of January 16.
Preparations began in December to hold strike votes after eight weeks of meetings with the Company and two more weeks of day and night negotiations in the presence of the conciliator.
The bargaining committee is: Jeff Brohman, Local 34-0; Claude Brazeau, Local 80, Ray Mortimer, Local 26, Alain Paradis, Local 8284, Alain Sévigny, Local 8284, Drew Wickens, Local 53.