Northern Alberta laundry workers win 9% raise

These workers voted 73% in favour of the new contract.

At the end of June, Local 401 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union published an update on negotiations for several of its members.

These 50 or so workers are employed by Civeo, a Texas-based company that provides hospitality services for corporations. In Alberta, this is primarily for clients in the bitumen mining sector.

In this case, Civeo employs these workers at a laundry facility located between Fort McMurray and Fort McKay, where they launder uniforms and other items for their clients.

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The new 3-year contract includes a 3% annual wage increase for most employee classifications, for a total of 9%. Drivers with a class 1 certification will instead get 5% in their first year of the contract, 4% in their second, and 3% in their final year.

Also related to wages, the workers’ negotiating team was able to bargain for a $1200 signing bonus. Anyone who was hired this year will get a $350 signing bonus.

The bargaining team managed to also get new training premium of $1 an hour, as well as a new night shift premium of 75¢ an hour.

Workers will also see the addition of cell phone and computer benefits for drivers, and improvements to bereavement leave for all workers.

Finally, the team also negotiated the addition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to the list of paid stat holidays.

Of those who voted on the tentative agreement, 73% voted in favour, with a significant turnout overall.

“Voter turnout was high and member engagement was positive,” said Linda Mariani, lead negotiator for UFCW on this contract. “It was heartening to witness the commitment and dedication of the membership at a difficult time.”

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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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