May 20, 2021
TORONTO – After nearly three weeks on the picket line, more than 470 workers who went on strike at a Nestlé Canada manufacturing plant in Toronto, have reached a three-year tentative agreement with the chocolate giant.
“Over the term of this agreement, our 80 junior members in the P0 (contract) classification who are currently making $17.30 an hour will be making over $25 an hour by the end of this agreement and they will be made permanent,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, during an announcement outside the plant Thursday morning.
Unifor Local 252 workers, who manufacture Kit Kat, Aero, Coffee Crisp and Smarties, have been on strike since just after midnight May 1, fighting for full-time status for its contract employees and improved pension benefits.
“If you’re at a P0 classification, from the date of hire and at the end of three years, you will be at the top rate. This is what solidarity is all about it. Today is an incredible day,” added Dias.
The company also agreed to give a $1 increase contribution into the defined benefit pension plan each year over the three-year agreement.
Among the other gains are wage increases, the consolidation of jobs and many benefit improvements, including eyeglasses and dental increases.
“This means security for workers going forward,” said Eamonn Clarke, the President of Local 252.
Clarke said the tentative deal was reached around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night. On the picket line this morning, he thanked Dias for intervening to expedite the bargaining process for Local 252 members.
“Our members now know the company’s investing in them, which means they’re investing in the plant and investing in everybody’s future. The community came out and supported them,” said Clarke.
The tentative agreement will be voted on over the next two days.
Nestle workers ratified the contract later that day at 94%.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Director Natalie Clancy: firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 707-5794.