CAW Local 114 Members Ratify New Contract at Viking Air

January 30, 2012, 11:50 AM EST

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CAW Local 114 members who work at Viking Air in British Columbia have voted 95 per cent in favour of a new contract with the aircraft maker.

The CAW represents 270 workers at Viking Air, which builds the latest model of Twin Otter airplanes.

The new agreement includes a $1000 payment for 2010 to 2011, a 2 percent wage increase retroactive to November 2011 a wage increase of 2.5 per cent in November 2012 and another 3 per cent in November 2013.  In addition, the union achieved 100 per cent employer paid benefits, vision and LTD improvements and a new drug card. A further gain is a 50 per cent increase in the protective footwear allowance.

On job security issues, the union negotiated a 50 per cent increase in the maximum severance payable in the event of redundancies, making it far more expensive to reduce the work performed by CAW members.

CAW National Representative Gavin McGarrigle said CAW members who work at Viking Air held firm in support of the bargaining committee and negotiated a strong aerospace agreement in difficult times.

"Our members at Viking Air refused to accept concessions and zero wage increases and instead decided that fighting back would make a difference," McGarrigle said.

"The skilled workers at Viking Air stood shoulder to shoulder and insisted that a fair agreement was needed when a company has dozens of orders for planes in its order books. Viking should be making plenty of Twin Otters moving forward," he said.

The CAW represents aircraft mechanics, machinists, sheet metal mechanics, painters, welders, storepersons and labourers at Viking Air, which is an aircraft manufacturing and repair firm based on Vancouver Island near Sidney, British Columbia. Viking is re-starting production of the famed de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.

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