New York Cascades Workers, Machinists Union Win Long Battle to Vote on, Ratify First Contract

More than 100 workers at the Cascades Containerboard facility in Niagara Falls, N.Y. have overwhelmingly ratified a strong first collective bargaining agreement.

The facility’s group of more than 100 workers voted to join the Machinists Union in April 2019 and have been attempting to bargain for a fair contract for nearly three years. Cascades Containerboard, a Canadian-owned company, failed to listen to U.S. lawmakers, labor leaders, or their workers as they called on the company to bargain a fair contract.

READ: It took 3 years, but Cascades workers in Niagara Falls ratify the first contract | The Buffalo (N.Y.) News

“I could not be more proud of these members for their solidarity, courage, and dedication to get the first contract for each other,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “This has been a long time coming, and there aren’t many groups that could continue to display the solidarity and patience these members have. The longer the process has gone on, the more resolve these members have shown. I want to thank IAM Canadian General Vice President David Chartrand and his staff for their work putting pressure on this Québec-based manufacturer, helping us achieve this long-awaited victory.”  

“While there is good news for these members today, that doesn’t take away the fact they have faced union-busting tactics for nearly three years while the company refused to bargain with their employees,” continued Bryant. “We need to strengthen U.S. labor laws to hold corporations accountable and create an economy that works for working people.”

WATCH: Cascades Containerboard Workers Demand Contract

“I am so proud of this group and the solidarity and patience they have shown over the past few years,” said IAM District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “They have handled all the union-busting tactics with professionalism and strength. Their determination and resolve is something for the labor history books.”

“Our members at Cascades are the major reason for the company’s success. They earned and fought for the right to vote on a fair first contract,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This opportunity will give these dedicated individuals a voice in the workplace. I commend them for their focus in obtaining a contract that will make life better for their families and the Niagara Falls community.”

The Canadian Territory is thankful that our Brothers and Sisters at Cascades in New York were able to secure a first contract,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President David Chartrand. “The IAM stood strong across the borders because all workers deserve respect and fairness. That’s what a team does—when you hurt one, you hurt all. We hope that this struggle is behind us, and we can move forward toward creating a better workplace.”

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