IAM members from 25 locations across British Columbia voted in favor of ratifying a four-year contract that ended a five-week strike at Finning. The 700 mechanics, parts department and support personnel repair and overhaul heavy equipment for mining, forestry and construction industries in British Columbia.
Wages, benefits, shifts and sub-contracting were the four major issues for the workers who voted overwhelmingly in favor of strike action. “This is a good contract settlement, made possible by the endurance and willingness of IAM members to stand up to their employer,” said District 250 Directing Business Representative Stan Pickthall. “This has been a long haul with Finning, and our membership showed strong support for their bargaining committee throughout these negotiations.”
Among the improvements in the new agreement is a 14 percent increase in wages over the life of the accord, with the first four percent increase retroactive to April 15, 2011. Journeyperson wages will increase by $5.28 per hour over the life of the contract.
“Besides the improvements made in these negotiations, our members have clearly shown Finning that they will stand firm when necessary,” said Pickthall. “Certified in 1966, the Union has never before engaged in strike action in British Columbia. There is a clear message to Finning that the Machinists are rock solid in this province, and that the company must respect their employees both at the bargaining table and in the workplace.”