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Nortek Workers Achieve Good First Contract

MONTREAL – After joining the Steelworkers in June 2019, the 250 workers at Nortek Air Solutions factory in Montreal who manufacture ventilation units have secured their first collective agreement.

The agreement, reached through first-contract arbitration, improves working conditions and provides significant wage increases and adjustments with the creation of a wage grid. Two-thirds of the workers will earn 15% wage hikes over the next two years (including increases provided since June 2019). Approximately 20 workers will receive increases of more than 50%.

“We’re very pleased that our union has finally been recognized and that we have won a collective agreement. This contract allows for more equity among workers and puts an end to the employer’s arbitrary approach to determining wages,” said Jean-Paul Lavoie, president of the new Steelworkers Local 9582.

The agreement calls for workers who were hired through employment agencies to become regular employees and union members after a six-month probationary period. The contract recognizes union representatives and committees, including elected members to the workplace health and safety committee.

“It's a good first agreement that significantly reduces inequities between workers and puts in place a wage structure that should put an end to those inequities in coming years. Everything is in place to build a healthy, unionized workplace where workers have the resources to ensure they’re respected,” said Steelworkers staff representative Michel Courcy.

The collective agreement was reached through first-contract arbitration, following an arbitration request by workers in May 2020.  

The United Steelworkers/Syndicat des Métallos, affiliated with the FTQ, is the largest private-sector union in Quebec, representing more than 60,000 workers in all economic sectors.

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