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____ Thursday March 24, 2016 ____



New Contract Benefits Steelworkers, Nordia Kitchener

Kitchener/Waterloo - Approximately 400 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) have ratified a new collective agreement with the Nordia Kitchener call centre that includes significant improvements in wages and job security.

The five-year collective agreement, approved by 80% of union members in a ratification vote, also helps strengthens the call centre's ability to maintain and attract additional business, the USW says.

The new contract includes increases in base wage rates ranging from 5.3% to 13% over the term of the agreement. The average increase will be 7.6% and the wage hikes will be retroactive to Dec. 1, 2015.

In addition, employees will receive a further 1.5% wage increase in each year of the contract, effective on the anniversary of their hiring date.

The new agreement also settles several grievances in employees' favour and strengthens contract language that will enhance their terms and conditions of employment, including improvements on job security, scheduling and sick leave.

"Call centres, by nature, have constantly changing landscapes which can make collective bargaining challenging for all involved," said Kristine Chapman, Chair of the USW Bargaining Unit representing the Nordia employees.

"In the end, we reached an agreement that we believe will keep Nordia Kitchener on the map for current and future business and that translates into job security for our 400 members. The significant wage increases and improvements to our contract reflect the value that our members bring to their workplace."

"The Steelworkers at Nordia Kitchener can be proud of negotiating a collective agreement that recognizes it is their hard work that contributes more than anything to the company's success," said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.

"This agreement demonstrates how collective bargaining benefits workers and employers, their families, communities and the local economy," Warren said.

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