Unifor Local 2003E members at Vopak Terminals of Canada Inc. in Hamilton, Ontario voted to adopt a new collective agreement that includes a large wage increase and other significant gains.
“The Bargaining Committee worked hard to achieve improvements that will make a real difference to our members,” said Gary Ellis, Unifor National Representative. “For example, in the new contract our Senior Operators received a wage increase of approximately 24 per cent, retroactive to the start of this year.”
The full time terminal operators at the petroleum/chemical tank farm work outdoors in all conditions storing and transferring such chemicals as fuels, de-icing fluids and asphalt from massive holding tanks, trains, ships and trucks.
In 2019, Vopak Terminals in Quebec took strike action for pensions, wages, and overtime. After a long 3 months on the picket line, the members of Unifor Local 175C won major advancements and returned to work.
While the Vopak members in Hamilton had already achieved important gains in prior rounds of bargaining, the Local 2003E Bargaining Committee took the position that the employer had set a wage pattern in Quebec.
“Local 2003E’s Bargaining Committee never waivered in maintaining that while their Collective Agreement was historically a little better than other locations they would not accept anything less than the achievements of Unifor in Quebec,” said Jason Harris, Local 2003E Bargaining Committee Chair. “We would like to acknowledge and thank Unifor Local 175C in Quebec for their efforts.”
Local 2003E members also demanded pension security in the form of a Defined Benefit pension plan as well as other monetary gains. After multiple days of collective bargaining a tentative agreement was reached on January 16 and ratified on January 17.
Approximately 24% wage increase effective January 1, 2020
Senior operators will go from $29.96/hr to $36.40/hr
January 1, 2021 – 2.5 per cent
January 1, 2022 – 2.5 per cent
January 1, 2023 – 2.5 per cent
College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Defined Benefit Pension Plan with matching contributions of
2020 - 5 per cent
2021 - 6 per cent
2022 - 6.5 per cent
The new collective agreement also contains improvements in overtime calculations, health benefits, bereavement, severance, shift premiums and vacations.