Workers at Port Hawkesbury Paper have signed their first agreement in 10 years, making long-overdue gains for members of Local 972.
“I want to thank the bargaining committee for all of their hard work. We are very happy for our members at Port Hawkesbury Paper who have waited so long to see well-deserved wage increases,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “This group will now be aligned with the timing of negotiations across the Eastern pulp and paper Locals and we hope to see members of Local 972 benefit from future pattern negotiations.”
The new four-year agreement sees a $3.50 wage adjustment to all rates for operations on January 1, 2023, a $1.50 adjustment to all rates for operations on January 1, 2024 and then 1.5% wage increases at the beginning of both 2025 and 2026.
“The situation facing pulp and paper workers when they last negotiated was very different than it is now,” said Unifor Local 972 President Archie MacLachlan.
“While the focus ten years ago was on the very survival of the mill, negotiations this time had to focus on the well-being of the workers who are really to thank for its continued success.”
In addition to general wage increases, there are improvements to the Sunday premium and time-and-a-half for working holidays in addition to holiday pay.
Unifor Local 972 represents more than 200 workers at the mill in Port Hawkesbury, on Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia.