Unifor Local 324 has reached a tentative agreement with Interfor Sawmill in Ear Falls that will increase the pay of over 150 maintenance, production, and woodyard employees.
Unifor National Representative Stephen Boon said the union cannot reveal details about the contract until they speak with their local members, but the new agreement would continue to place the Ear Falls sawmill as one of the top-paying mills in eastern Canada.
“It’s an extremely generous contract that will improve the quality of life for the employees," Boon said.
The Ear Falls sawmill has had more ups than downs over the last decade. In 2008, the sawmill was shut down due to the housing recession, but it found new footing in 2014 when Eacom reopened the Mill, which Unifor took part in with a long-term restart agreement.
“That restart agreement provided a log of flexibility with very good wages, benefits and pension,” said Boon.
When Interfor purchased Eacom last year, Boon said that Mill has become one of their more efficient mills.
“The successful transition to being a production mill has now resulted in a very strong agreement that will help the workers that want to go there address the current inflation prices that we are facing now,” Boon said.
“This new agreement is extremely good that will greatly enhance the wages, pension, and benefit for the employees that are there now, which will now position this mill from an employee point of view as one of the top mills in eastern Canada in terms of compensation."
Katrina Peterson, President of Local 324, said the union has developed an "excellent working relationship" with Interfor in Ear Falls.
"We are pleased to have achieved this solid, long-term deal that not only addresses the high cost of living facing our members and their families but will also help Interfor successfully recruit and retain production and trades employees for years to come," Peterson said.
Unifor Local 324 will hold meetings on Nov. 6 in Dryden and Nov. 7 in Ear Falls where union members will discuss and vote to ratify the agreement.