Unifor has reached a long-term contract with Kenora Forests Products in Kenora, ON, to re-start sawmill operations there by the beginning of 2015, according to the labour union’s press release Thursday.
The new deal also will facilitate millions of dollars in capital investment for modernizing the mill and installing an additional saw line for expanded lumber production.
“This deal promises to restore hundreds of direct and in-direct jobs to the community while also providing key monetary improvements for over 100 unionized mill employees,” said Unifor national representative Stephen Boon.
“Kenora supported two sawmills and a large pulp and paper mill prior to 2005,” noted Boon. “So we are confident the MNR will have little trouble ensuring Kenora Forest Products secures the necessary wood supply crucial for restoring operations at one of the city’s three closed mills.”
Kenora Sawmill to Reopen
Boon said Kenora has been particularly hard hit by massive forestry job losses over the last decade.
“Trades pay will reach almost $36/ hour with production pay averaging close to $27/hour in the final year of this new agreement.”
“In this new deal, Unifor and Kenora Forest Products committed to ensuring the area’s aboriginal groups also share the benefits of a re-opened sawmill by establishing a of 30 per cent employment target for aboriginal participation in the mill’s workforce,” he said.
The deal takes effect this autumn and runs until the end of 2020.
Key terms include:
• wage increases of 18 per cent over six years (three per cent per annum;
• $840 per worker increase in employer annual pension contributions; and
• one additional floating holiday.