Griffin Wheel workers ratify deal, ending more than two-week lockout

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WINNIPEG—Unifor Local 144 members at Griffin Wheel – a Winnipeg foundry that produces train wheels – have ratified a new four-year contract, ending a 19-day lockout.

“Congratulations to the bargaining committee that pushed back and fought hard for our members to honour their needs in pensions, seniority rights and work-life balance,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

“We’re pleased to see the company is giving them the respect they deserve for their specialized and dedicated work.”

The new collective agreement was ratified on April 15, 2024, by 87%.

The new contract contains the largest wage and pension gains in the history of Amsted Rail at the Winnipeg Griffin Wheel plant.

Workers will see an added 4% in wages in years one and two and 3% in years three and four.

The bargaining committee successfully fought against the company removing the Defined Benefit pension plan and replacing it with a Defined Contribution plan.

There were also increases in employer pension plan contributions in each year of the agreement and sunset clause language was removed from the pension plan. The new contract also includes a new Health Spending Account for members and increases to health and safety equipment and clothing.

"This plant has had forced overtime since the 1970s and because of our solidarity, the members are now able to have 13 long weekends off in a year," says Unifor Local 144 President Liz Sousa. 

“A lot of our members have been working hard, six days a week, for the last two years to help the company out. They will now receive double overtime pay on all hours worked on Saturdays and Sundays. This is finally step towards reducing burnout and creating the work-life-balance we wanted.”

The 181 members, represented by Local 144, work in melting and processing at Griffin Wheel. They pour, on average, 850 train wheels a day.

The contract began March 17, 2024, and expires March 18, 2028.

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 media inquiries in English please contact Unifor Communications Representative Jenny Yuen at @email or by cell at (416) 938-6157.

Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative