Strike Avoided as Canadian Auto Workers and Kawneer Manufacturing Ratify Agreement
April 21, 2011

The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and Kawneer Manufacturing in Lethbridge, Alberta, a division of Alcoa, have ratified an agreement concerning pension, wage, shift premium and benefit increases for the workers at Kawneer. Earlier this week the CAW had announced a strike deadline of this morning, but late yesterday reached a tentative agreement with Kawneer, extending the strike deadline to noon (MDT), in the event that the agreement was rejected by the membership.

CAW national representative Todd Romanow said members voted on the tentative agreement this morning through a secret ballot, with 75 percent voting in favor.

"The deal is for three years and includes a $1000 lump sum payment for year one, a 1-percent increase in year two and a 2-percent increase in year three,” says Romanow. "We were also able to raise the afternoon and night shift premiums by .21 cents as of ratification."

However, Romanow says they were not able to get all that they had hoped for.

"The membership is disappointed that there wasn’t more money offered as Alcoa is very profitable and the increases won’t keep up with the rate of inflation in Alberta,” says Romanow. "It also means that there will not have been any changes to the benefit or pension plans in nine years once this deal runs out.”

Mike Belwood, an Alcoa spokesperson confirmed that an agreement was reached.

"We are pleased that this issue was resolved without a work stoppage and look forward to focusing on serving our customers,” says Belwood.

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