Boeing Workers Ratify New Three-Year Deal

June 18, 2011, 1:08 PM EST

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Production and skilled trades workers at the Boeing aerospace facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year collective agreement with the company on June 18. Workers voted 95 per cent in favour of the settlement that sees wage increases in each year as well as contract language improvements, benefit advances and keeps cost of living payments intact, among other gains.

For the union, the most significant victory is the protection of the current defined benefit pension plan. Despite aggressive company demands to install a new defined contribution plan (a more insecure plan model) for new hires, the union bargaining committee refused to give in, said Jerry Dias, Assistant to the CAW National President,

"Maintaining our pension plan at Boeing signals an important win not just for our members but for workers across the country," Dias said.

"Employers have targeted pensions as the next frontier for cost-savings. Not only does this jeopardize future generations, it'll further destabilize Canada's middle class. By keeping the bar set high, we've made strides in this contract in the fight to preserve retirement security for everyone."

According to Dias, Boeing has instituted defined contribution plans for workers in all but two of its facilities in North America over the past years. Winnipeg is one of those two facilities.

The agreement was reached between the union and company on June 17, hours before a midnight strike deadline.

Plant chairperson Carmen LeDarney credited the bargaining committee for holding the line on issues vitally important to the membership.

"The important gains we made in this round of talks are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our bargaining team," LeDarney said.

CAW represents over 1000 workers at the Boeing facility who are members of Local 2169. The workers manufacture composite aircraft parts for the entire Boeing line of commercial airplanes.

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