Union votes yes to RTA agreement

Unionized workers from Rio Tinto Alcan voted to adopt a tentative deal reached earlier this week as final.

  • Jul. 27, 2012 7:00 p.m.

A final agreement has been reached between Rio Tinto Alcan and its unionized workers.

The new deal was sealed today after Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) Local 2301 members voted 94 per cent in favour of it.

This vote came on the heels of a 29-hour negotiation marathon between Rio Tinto Alcan and CAW Local 2301 representatives.

Negotiations started at 7 a.m. July 23 and were set to finish at midnight but went twelve hours into overtime, passing the expiry date on the former workers contract as well as the deadline of a 72 hour strike notice served by the union.

But as a tentative deal was reached between the parties at noon July 24, no strike took place and business at Rio Tinto Alcan has continued as usual.

No changes were made before the tentative agreement was finalized.

We are pleased that the employees voted in favour of the tentative agreement,” said Rio Tinto Alcan’s CEO Etienne Jacques in a press release distributed after the ratification vote today.

There were nearly 150 changes made to this contract compared to the last one, said CAW Local 2301 interim business agent Cliff Madsen who sat round the negotiations table this week.

Madsen said that while negotiations went well, the union didn’t get everything from the contract it was seeking.

We had some … very complex issues and we were able to find a way to come to an agreement,” he said. “Not everybody got what they wanted on both sides.”

In a union release today, it was noted that a $2500 signing bonus which came as part of the new contract can be contributed to the CAW RRSP plan.