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AV Group ratifies agreement with workers at Terrace Bay mill

Significant gains for employees at AV Group Terrace Bay mill signals future optimism for pulp business

TERRACE BAY — A new contract agreement has been reached between the operators of the Terrace Bay mill and about 300 of their employees.

AV Group Terrace Bay, United Steelworkers 665, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1861 on Monday jointly announced the ratification of the four-year collective agreement.

AV Terrace Bay president Dennis Visintin said the agreement provides certainty for mill operations, and security for workers.

“It aligns well with creating an employer of choice environment for current and prospective employees,” he said. “It's the right agreement at the right time."

The ratified agreement includes wage increases in the range of 20 to 24 per cent, along with pension and benefit enhancements. It is believed that improvements to job placement procedures will optimize return on employee training investments.

United Steelworkers spokesperson Herb Daniher said the membership is pleased to ratify the agreement.

“Our negotiations were effective and brings total compensation to a level competitive with regional mills,” Daniher said. “We look forward to putting this agreement to work for the benefit of our members and the community."

The mill produces more than 320,000 tonnes of bleached softwood pulp annually.

Visintin said it’s believed the mill is entering a favourable period for the kraft market.

"Coupled with our abundant and sustainably certified wood supply, this investment in our people positions us to be a strongly competitive provider of [northern bleached softwood kraft] for the foreseeable future."  

The previous agreement expired in May.