Unifor Local 222 members at Pilkington Glass made significant wage gains in a new contract ratified on June 12, 2022. The three-year agreement covers approximately 100 union members who manufacture specialty glass products for the auto industry at the Whitby, Ontario plant.
“This is a pivotal agreement that substantially raises union members’ wages, improves pension contributions, while also making important breakthroughs for equity,” said Daniel Bernard-Hovianseian, Unifor Local 222 Unit Chairperson at Pilkington Glass. “As a newly elected bargaining committee, it was vital to have both the support of our fellow Unifor members as well as the national union throughout negotiations.”
Members will receive substantial wage increases of approximately 25% over the life of the three-year agreement. Workers wages will increase by roughly 17% retroactive to June 9, 2022 and increase by 4% in each subsequent year. The agreement also introduces two paid personal emergency leave days per calendar year beginning in 2023, increases the short term disability weekly benefit to $400, and doubles the employer’s matching contribution to union members’ pension plan.
“Inflation has taken a big bite out of workers’ wages and we knew we needed to address that by securing direct economic improvements that help our members right now,” said Sam Snyders, Unifor National Representative. “This agreement sets important precedents for this employer, similar workplaces in the area, and the broader independent parts sector.”
The newly ratified agreement also secures enhancements to layoff and recall protections, tripling recall rights to three years and the ability to convert recall rights to a variety of job-protected leaves of absence. Job protection and training provisions were strengthened to include technological change-related restructuring as were measures to protect bargaining unit integrity and representation.
The union also secured significant progress on equity with the establishment of a Racial Justice Advocate and an Anti-Racism Action Plan in the new contract. The union also succeeded in bargaining employer participation in Unifor’s Social Justice Fund for the first time.
Unifor Local 222 members at Pilkington Glass voted 84% in favour of ratifying the agreement.