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The Sept.14 rally for GENPAK workers has been cancelled as a result for their negotiating a settlement in the dispute between CEO and the company.
Please see the news story below:
Genpak lockout ends in deal; PENSIONS: Workers back on the job; The Peterborough Examiner Mon Sep 13 2010
Byline: FIONA ISAACSON EXAMINER STAFF WRITER;
Locked-out Genpak employees are returning to work Monday after a deal was reached Sunday.
The 38 packaging plant workers, all members of Communications Energy and Paperworks (CEP) Local 685, were locked out Aug. 26 when an agreement couldn’t be reached over pensions.
Doug McDonald, president of Local 685, said after 48 hours of long negotiations over the weekend they got the best possible deal.
“We didn’t quite get what we wanted to get but we definitely got a whole lot better than (what) we were facing before we went in,” he said Sunday.
“I think the needs of the people who were worse impacted … were met the best way we could.”
The union had hoped to retain its defined pension plan (which guarantees a set monthly payout no matter what is happening in the financial markets), but has built in conditions into the new pension plan that comes into effect Jan. 1.
Employees who are most impacted will see a return as close to the original plan as possible, McDonald said.
Under the new arrangement all employees are still “somewhat vulnerable” to market changes, however employees with a combined age and years of service of 70 have been grandfathered, McDonald said.
The company’s matched contributions will be structured to years of service, he said.
“But the bottom line is everybody is going into a new plan.”
Negotiations started in February and their contract expired March 30.
There were no outstanding issues other than pensions. The union had accepted the proposed wages and benefits package.
McDonald said the agreement reached over the weekend was “widely supported” by the group but didn’t want to discuss the numbers.
“We’ve got something that was acceptable to the majority of the membership,” said the 20- year company veteran.
Kim Ginter, CEP administrative vice-president for the Ontario region, said employees voted “overwhelmingly” for the deal. The vote was 29 to nine, he said.
McDonald said he’s not sure what employee moral will be like at the Aylmer St. plant on Monday.
“We’re hoping everybody is going to be able to work towards getting past this because it’s been a very difficult time for all of us.”