Members of both IAM Local Lodge 1542 divisions in Arnprior, Ontario, have ratified new collective agreements with Arnprior Aerospace. The new contract is designed to enhance the security of lodge membership and address competitive issues.
“Past bargaining events were characterized as adversarial and unproductive in the end result,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bill Shipman, who explained that this time around the parties agreed to enlist the assistance of Ontario Ministry of Labour professionals employed in the Dispute Resolutions Department. “Under the Ministry’s tutelage, a new bargaining structure was developed that can be best characterized as a modified version of traditional bargaining, or MTB. This new process was instrumental in allowing the parties to better identify the issues, focus on solutions and avoid detrimental confrontation. And it worked!”
Following a short training program put on by the Ministry, the parties spent seven days in direct bargaining which resulted in a Memorandum of Agreement and ratification by the membership.
The six-year agreement includes cash payments of $500 a year in the first four years in lieu of a general wage increase. This was instrumental in progressing toward a more competitive ‘wrap rate’ without concessions. There will be general wage increases of 1.5 percent in the fifth year and 2 percent in the sixth year respectively. The defined benefit pension plan was maintained along with all other benefits and entitlements.
“This new agreement was designed to assist us in becoming a more productive site in tier-2 aerospace, while protecting the wages and benefits we have worked so hard to build over the past decades,” explained Shipman. “It is also anticipated that our new process of joint problem solving will serve us well in future efforts to win additional work for our members as we strive to succeed in an extremely competitive industry.”
The membership includes 50 office and technical personnel and 352 production and maintenance personnel involved in design, procurement, production and maintenance of tier-2 aerospace components.