Calgary factory workers win 13.5% wage increase

Their previous contract had expired last October.

In the July 2023 Bargaining Update released earlier this month, Alberta’s jobs, economy, and northern development ministry indicated that a new collective agreement for workers in Calgary had been reached.

Settled on 14 July 2023, the new agreement is between CertainTeed Canada and Local 345 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, which represents over 70 workers at the company’s Calgary locations.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States, CertainTeed manufactures building materials for residential and commercial construction projects, such as insulation, gypsum products, and siding. The company is owned by Saint-Gobain SA, which is based in Paris, France, and CertainTeed has two locations in Calgary.

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Their main plant, which is near the CPR railyards in southeast Calgary, primarily produces such CertainTeed products as Easi-Lite, Inter-Ceiling, Fireboard, M2Tech, Abuse, and GlasRoc.

The other plant, just across the irrigation canal from the main plant, specializes in finishing products, such as ready mix and powders.

These workers—which include cooks, kitchen aides, health-care aides, and maintenance staff—had been working on an old contract that had expired last October.

According to the July 2023 Bargaining Update, these workers will receive a total increase of 13.5% over the 4-year term of their new contract. Here’s how it breaks down per year.

1 November 20225.0%
1 November 20233.5%
1 November 20242.0%
1 November 20253.0%

This contract will affect a wide range of workers, from general labourers to warehouse loaders, machine operators, forklift operators, and journey-level tradespersons.

Negotiations had broken at one point during the bargaining process and had to go to mediation.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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