Xstrata Nickel and the Canadian Auto Workers Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 successfully renewed a three-year collective agreement with 93 per cent of workers voting in favour of the new contract.
Local 598, which represents production and maintenance employees at Xstrata Nickel operations in Sudbury, saw 813 members vote for the agreement and 63 against it.
The agreement was ratified by the union membership on the evening of Feb. 2, after negotiations that began in mid-December.
Highlights of the agreement include an annual cost of living allowance with a 20-cent hourly wage increase in the third year, $2,500 continuity allowance, a new nickel bonus formula, competitive pension and benefit improvements that adjust for inflation and a new employee performance-based incentive program linked to the achievement of business targets.
Xstrata Nickel plans to reactivate copper mining at the Fraser Mine this February and the accord provides for a workforce transition agreement that enables the recall of 100 workers to fill vacant positions, while minimizing any impact on the existing Nickel Rim South workforce as this project ramps up to full production in the second quarter of this year.