First Agreement at Atlas Logistics in Ajax, Ontario

April 8, 2009, 9:05 AM EST

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CAW Local 222 members at Atlas Logistics in Ajax, Ontario have ratified a first agreement that provides wage and benefit increases for almost 600 workers who work at the facility that distributes perishable and dry grocery products for Loblaws supermarkets.

Workers voted 74 per cent in favour of the new agreement.

Wages increase by $5 per hour over the life of the agreement and workers receive a lump sum bonus of $1,000 or $500, if on probation. Shift premiums are increased and the company will now cover LTD premiums. As well, there is a significant reduction in employee benefit contributions.

Overtime will now be paid after eight hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week - it was previously after 44 hours per week.

Other gains include P.E.L. and Social Justice Fund contributions by the employer, full-time union representation and the establishment of a woman's advocate position.

Michelle Dellanzo, a bargaining committee member, said it was a tough process, but the strong support of the membership including a 93 per cent strike vote helped secure the new agreement.

"We're very happy with the agreement," Dellanzo said. "We've definitely made major improvements in the workplace."

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