Two more agreements signed
Workers at Extra Foods, Colomac ink deals

NNSL (NOV 06/96) - Two more collective agreements have been reached in the United Steelworkers of America's organizing drive in the city.

Last month workers at Extra Foods (formerly OK Economy) and Royal Oak's Colomac gold mine accepted collective agreements with their employers.

At the grocery chain, a "large majority" of workers signed a four-year deal that includes a wage increase of about 2.5 per cent a year, said Wayne Skrypnyk, a Steelworkers staff representative.

"We recommended they accept it," he said. "We felt there wouldn't be any more without a strike and that didn't make sense."

The agreement also included signing bonuses ranging from $50 to $300 depending on length of service at the operation and a benefits package for those working more than 32 hours per week.

Colomac workers, meanwhile, accepted a three-year deal that includes a two-per-cent wage increase in the first year and lump sum payments of $250 in December 1996 and 1997, Skrypnyk said.

Employees could also benefit from a "gold clause" that would see money contributed to a RRSP for each worker based on the difference between the price of gold and the cost of production. Once the price is $68 or more over the cost, money will be put in the RRSP plans.

"It's certainly not a trend setter," Skrypnyk said of the deal. "But based on the situation with the company and their financial position, our bargaining committee recommend they accept it."

The contract at Colomac expires Oct. 31, 1999, while the Extra Foods deal expires in October 2000.

Only a contract at the Explorer/Discovery hotels has yet to be reached from the businesses organized during the Steelworker campaign.

Negotiations are on-going, Skrypnyk said.

The Steelworkers previously reached deals at Northern Addictions and the Yellowknife Co-op.

An application for certification at the Northern Communications Society is awaiting a decision from the Canada Labor Relations Board, Skrypnyk said.