A four-year deal has been reached between Mine Mill Local 598 Unifor and Glencore Integrated Nickel Operations.
The deal will see a two-percent wage increase over the length of the contract and a couple of tweaks to dental and drug plans, but no major concessions. The new contract calls for raises of 0.5 per cent in years two and three, and 1 per cent in year four, as well as a $2,700 signing bonus. There is also a basic pension increase of $1 in each of the first two years.
Chief negotiator Richard Paquin says Glencore mines are “dwindling down” and two new projects the company wants to pursue, Onaping Depth and Nickel Rim Deep, still require financing. Paquin says ore supplies at Fraser Mine and Nickel Rim South are only expected to last another half-dozen years. Should the new projects go ahead, that would keep Glencore workers busy for another decade or more, but the company needs a $1.4-billion investment to make those projects a reality.
Local 598 President Anne Marie MacInnis says a collective agreement like this provides job security for four years. The collective agreement impacts about 800 workers, including miners, electricians, mechanics and cage tenders.