Steelworkers Ratify Contract at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

CHALK RIVER, Ont. – More than 500 members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1568 employed at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) have reached a new collective agreement improving work standards at the Chalk River facility.

The two-year contract covers employees including technicians, technologists, IT personnel and radiation surveyors at the former Atomic Energy of Canada Limited site. The Crown corporation turned over operation of the site to the private sector and the facility is now controlled by an international consortium of corporations including SNC-Lavalin.

The collective agreement for USW Local 1568 members is effective retroactively to April 1 of this year. It includes total wage increases of 3% and provisions to resolve pension issues caused by the federal government’s privatization of AECL.

In the event the federal government follows through with plans to remove CNL employees from a public service pension plan, the collective agreement provides for a switch to the Canadian Energy and Related Industries (CERi) Pension Plan, a union-sponsored, multi-employer plan.

The agreement improves contract language affecting issues such as seniority, hours of work and disciplinary matters. It also introduces new provisions recognizing the impact of domestic violence and mental health issues on the workplace.

USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Marty Warren congratulated the Chalk River workers for achieving a new collective agreement under challenging circumstances created by privatization and austerity policies of successive federal governments.

“Our federal government continues to make it more difficult for working people to improve their working and living standards and to protect their retirement security,” Warren said.

“It is a significant achievement for our members at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to confront these challenges and to reach a new collective agreement that addresses these issues in their workplace,” he said.

“The work of United Steelworkers members is a primary factor in the success of CNL operations and for Canada’s standing as a leader in the peaceful use and development of nuclear energy, science and technology.”


For further information:

Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792
David Lipton, USW Staff Representative, 613-260-7205 ext. 232, 613-859-8403, dlipton@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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