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Union ratifies OSB mill deal

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Eighty-seven percent of the 135 CEP Local 324-99 members at the OSB mill in Barwick voted last night to accept a new four-year collective agreement with Ainsworth Engineered LP.

The deal, reached Wednesday afternoon in last-minute talks, heads off a potential strike that had been postponed since midnight Sunday.

“The membership has successfully resisted concessions while still keeping this plant operating and viable into the foreseeable future,” Stephen Boon, CEP national representative in Dryden, said in a press release issued last night.

“I commend the strength and solidarity of our membership in standing firm right down to the wire to force a fair deal with a number of critical improvements to language and compensation.

“I want to also give credit to Ainsworth management and the professionalism they displayed this week in working to resolve a number of major hurdles related to language and seniority that had posed major roadblocks to reaching a deal,” Boon added.

Boon said no concessions were made in the new collective

agreement, which includes a zero percent pay increase in the first year and second year, followed by a two percent increase in both the third and fourth year.

There also is a $500 signing bonus effective the date of ratification.

The agreement, retroactive to July 31, 2009 when the previous deal expired, also includes:

•new seniority language related to overtime distribution and call-ins;

•new contracting out and jurisdictional language;

•increased notice period and use of seniority related to schedule changes;

•increase in annual trades tool allowance; and

•development of maintenance spare board to help reduce need for contracting out work.

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