[ABERCROMBIE POINT, NS] — Northern Pulp employees will vote Wednesday whether to accept a new deal with their employer.
CEP Local 440 President Mark MacLaughlin said a tentative collective agreement was voted down by 90 per cent of employees on May 28 and they subsequently took a strike vote to take back to conciliation meetings on June 5.
They spent Thursday and Friday in conciliation meetings at the Holiday Inn and came out with a tentative deal, which was brought to members on Sunday. They will vote Wednesday whether to accept it.
MacLaughlin said the deal includes roll-backs, changes around contracting out work and changes to vacation pay, but the offer is unanimously recommended by the negotiating committee.
If the deal is rejected the employees could strike, but MacLaughlin said they have no set date on when that would be. The company could also choose to lock out the employees.
Don Breen, Northern Pulp vice president, said he could not comment on the details of the new agreement, but alluded to the fact that it would include some cutbacks.
“We need to reduce our costs, so we can be competitive with our industry peers,” he said.
The last collective agreement expired in May 2009 and had been put in place on June 1, 2004. A lot of factors have changed since then which necessitated changes in this agreement, said Breen.
“As a company we are committed to negotiating a new agreement,” Breen said.
About 175 employees work at the mill located on Abercrombie Point.