Workers vote to end 13-month lockout at Petro-Canada refinery
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 |
Workers at a Petro-Canada refinery in Montreal have voted to accept a new collective agreement, a move that will put an end to a 13-month lockout.
Union officials, representing 260 employees, said Tuesday the agreement was accepted by 94.6 per cent of members. Employees will be back at work Jan. 12.
The three-year deal includes wage increases of about five per cent per year, a $4,000 bonus, vacation benefits, employee profit sharing and a provision dropping all charges arising from the labour dispute.
"This dispute was about our relationship with the industry and recognition of the union's national bargaining program that has provided excellent wages and benefits for oil, gas and petrochemical workers for over 40 years," Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, said in a statement.
"After a year-long lockout, we have an honourable settlement that recognizes and preserves national bargaining."
Refinery workers had been without a contract since Jan. 31, 2007. The union voted in favour of a strike mandate, and in November 2007 the company locked workers out and had management operate the facility.
Tensions between the two sides increased this fall when the union asked the public to boycott Petro-Canada fuel stations. The union had the support of the Canadian Labour Congress and Quebec Federation of Labour, the province's largest labour organization.
Former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard was called in to mediate the situation in early December. He is credited with helping to unblock negotiations.
With files from the Canadian Press