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Nestlé Canada strike achieves major progress

Nestlé Canada strike achieves major progress Nestlé Food and Beverage Business Nestle Canada
Nestlé chocolate plant workers in Toronto, Canada, have ended strike action after reaching a three-year deal with the company. The agreement, finalized last week, allowed production to resume at the plant, according to Nestlé.

The plant, located on Sterling Road, had been closed since 5 May when 461 employees walked out due to a pension pay dispute.

The strikes lasted for three weeks with no progress in negotiations, as mentioned by the local trade union, Unifor. Workers involved included chocolate bar packers, machine operators, shippers, receivers, and skilled trades laborers. Reasons for the walkout included dissatisfaction with the company’s pension plan improvements and the time it takes for workers to reach top pay rates.

As per the agreed three-year contract, Nestlé will raise wages by 3.25% in the first year, 3% in the second, and 2.25% in the third year. The defined benefit pension plan for non-skilled and skilled trades will see annual increases of C$1 and C$2 respectively.

Additional health benefits such as tool allowance, vision, and dental care will be provided, and employees over 65 will receive health benefits for the first time. Fourteen contract workers with the most seniority will be given full-time positions with full benefits.

Shift staff will receive increased hourly pay rates for afternoon and overnight shifts. Unifor’s Eamonn Clarke expressed satisfaction with the contract, highlighting improvements in job security and pensions.

Nestlé confirmed the collective agreement with Unifor, expressing contentment with having employees back at work and anticipating continued success at the Toronto factory.

The factory produces KitKat, Coffee Crisp, Aero chocolate bars, and Smarties confectionery. Notably, strikes occurred at the site in 2001 for better pensions and grow-in rates for new employees.

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