Union Negotiators Focus on Improved Pensions, Higher Wages

With regional, non-monetary issues settled, Teamster negotiators have now exchanged economic proposals with Purolator Courier Ltd.

The economic proposals include pensions, medical benefits and wages.

“We exchanged the economic proposals during the week of November 2 and began discussing the proposals,” said Val Neal, Director of Teamsters Canada’s Parcel and Small Package Division. “We will continue to review the proposals in preparation for the next round of negotiations scheduled for the week of December 1 in Toronto. We continue to make progress on the issues.”

During the week of November 2, the Teamsters finalized tentative agreements on the regional, non-monetary issues. Those issues include hours of work, the job-bumping system and the job-posting procedures.

“In addition to those issues, we will be going back to the Regional Committee to clarify issues related to owner-operators,” said Ross Peterson, Secretary-Treasurer of Local Union 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia who is also Assistant Director of the Parcel and Small Package Division. “We will meet the week of November 24. The issues needing clarification include the fuel surcharge and compensation.”

Top Issues: Economics

“The economic issues – pensions, wages and health care – are our members’ top concerns,” added Richard Charruau, President of Local Union 931 in Montreal and another assistant division director. “We will not stop negotiating until our members receive the pay and benefits that they deserve.”

Members of the Negotiating Committee echoed Charruau’s sentiments.

“I served on the committee that examined ways to improve vacations, and we came up with a proposal that improves flexibility in taking vacations during the Christmas peak period,” said Stuart Villeneuve, a steward with Local Union 938 in Mississauga, Ontario. “But the most important issues are ahead of us: pensions, wages and other benefits. I’m looking forward to tackling those key issues.”

“We want our pensions and medical benefits improved,” said Doug Smith, a steward with Local Union 927 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “We will fight for those improvements.”

“Our members at Purolator work hard every day. They need to share in the company’s success, and we will make sure that happens,” said Richard Gill, Secretary-Treasurer of Local Union 855 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The current, four-year contract with Purolator expires December 31, 2003. Teamsters Canada represents about 8,500 members at Purolator from 14 local unions, making it the Teamsters’ largest single-employer in Canada.

Teamsters at Purolator work as couriers, mechanics, dockworkers, sorters, line-haul drivers, millwrights, cleaners, air division workers and owner operators. Teamsters Canada also represents about 1,200 clerical workers covered under a separate contract.

What’s Next?

• Week of November 24 — Regional Committee members will meet to clarify issues related to owner-operators. Those issues include the fuel surcharge and compensation.

• Week of December 1 – Full Negotiating Committee meets in next round of contract talks.

Teamsters Canada is a labour organization representing more than 110,000 members in Canada alone. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which we are affiliated with, represents 1.5 million members across North America.

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