The 470 striking workers at a Nestlé Canada chocolate bar factory in Toronto are heading back to work as their union reached an agreement with the company on May 20, securing wage, benefits and pension increases for its members.
“We’re very happy with the results. The company is investing in the employees, so we see a future there,” says Eamonn Clarke, president of Unifor Local 252.
In the latest three-year collective agreement, he says employees grandfathered into Nestlé’s defined benefit pension plan following a strike in 2014 will receive an extra $1 a year in the employer-sponsored contribution to their plans retroactively going back to 2019, as well as for each year of the new agreement.
As well, 23 temporary workers will move up to permanent status, with immediate access to full benefits, including eyeglasses, dental coverage and access to a defined contribution pension plan. They’ll also receive the current salary for full-time employees of $25 an hour and the remaining temporary workers, who receive $17.30 an hour, will receive gradual increases to bring them up to the same pay by the end of the agreement’s term, says Clarke.
In the meantime, he says the amount the company will cover in health or dental costs for temporary workers’ will also increase by $100 each year. Single workers received $700 per year and those with families received $1,000. By the end of the agreement, their coverage will increase to $1,000 and $1,300, respectively.