A strike has been averted at Clean Harbours.
The 72 workers at the hazardous waste site on Petrolia Line were set to walk off the job Tuesday but a was reached to avoid the strike.
UniFor Local 9-14 National Representative Glen Sonier says employees voted 82 percent of the deal Friday night.
The main sticking point in the negotiations was the cost of benefits. Sonier says after the last deal employees assumed the cost of benefits including long and short term disability insurance.
“Previously, members were paying about $5 per week for benefits and the last contract it jumped to about $300 a month,” says Sonier. “There was no real const control to benefits and the employees got tagged for an exhuberent amount of money.
This two-year deal locks in the price of benefits with workers paying premiums for health and dental insurance. There is also a $250 lump sum at the end of the contract should benefits rise. The package is retroactive to April 2013.
“This has stopped the bleeding for two years, but we’ll take another kick at it in 18-months,” says Sonier.