At a virtual general meeting last night, 84.7% of the 176 blue-collar and white-collar employees working in the Electric Energy Workers Union-North ratified the tentative agreement that was negotiated recently with multinational Rio Tinto.

The collective agreement was set to expire on December 31, 2020. Following an initial series of negotiations in the summer, the parties had to resume discussions from scratch in October before a conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour.

This new contract covers a larger number of members working in the Electrical Energy Division at Rio Tinto. The employer and the union also agreed to amalgamate the collective agreements of the white-collar and blue-collar workers.

“We are satisfied with this agreement that was negotiated under unusual circumstances. We managed to maintain the job security and working conditions of our members,”  said CUPE Representative Jean-Julien Mercier.

The new four-year collective agreement contains mechanisms that continue to protect all certification duties, including caretaking, from being contracted out.

“We achieved our objective to protect quality jobs in all Electrical Energy areas of activity, including services. It also marks a great win for our union and our members,” declared Patrice Thibault, President of the STEEN-SCFP 9875 local.