Purolator Contract Negotiations Get Under Way – Teamster Negotiators to Fight for Higher Wages, Improved Pensions
September 29, 2003 – Teamster negotiators have wrapped up a successful opening round of contract talks with Purolator Courier Ltd. management, and they made progress on non-economic issues.
“We had a successful first round, and we made it clear to management that we want our members rewarded for the wealth they create at Purolator,” said Val Neal, Director of Teamsters Canada Small Packages Division. “Our members work hard every day to make Purolator the most successful package-delivery company in Canada. They deserve to be compensated fairly.”
During the talks September 8 to 11, negotiators addressed issues such as reducing the number of split shifts, improved vacation time, enhanced safety measures, and seniority protections. Economic issues, such as wages and pensions, will be discussed at a later date.
The current four-year contract with Purolator expires December 31, 2003. Teamsters Canada represents about 8,500 members at Purolator from 14 local unions, making it the Teamsters’ largest single-employer in Canada. Teamsters at Purolator work as couriers, mechanics, dock workers, sorters, line-haul drivers, millwrights, cleaners, air division workers, and owner-operators. Teamsters Canada also represents about 1,200 clerical workers covered under a separate contract.
Teamsters Canada’s 45-member National Negotiating Committee includes 30 stewards, all elected by their co-workers. Next to Neal at the negotiating table are Assistant Small Packages Division Directors Richard Charruau, who is President of Local 931 in Montreal, and Ross Peterson, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 31 in Vancouver.
“I want to make sure this contract recognizes the hard work of the more than 700 owner-operators,” Peterson said. “They are an integral part of the operation, and they need to be compensated for their labour and use of their vehicle”.
Charruau said communication between management and workers, needs to be improved. “Increased communication would make our members’ jobs easier, and would cause fewer problems,” Charruau said.