Members at two separate USW Local 1-405 certifications have ratified their new collective agreements. Both agreements run until the Fall of 2016.
Workers at Kimberley Alpine Resort ratified their agreement by an overwhelming amount, voting throughout the day December 12, 2013, at the resort prior to the orientation meeting as the operation welcomed new employees and welcomed back existing ones for the new ski season.
“We were able to negotiate a six per cent wage increase over three years for members on the hill after a couple of years of zero’s,” said Jeff Bromley, lead negotiator for USW Local 1-405.
“We also improved the benefit rate for our members and negotiated a Trades retention increase, which is crucial in this current market for skilled trades.”
At Trickle Creek Lodge, members at the hotel — a separate collective agreement — also voted to accept the agreement by a wide margin on December 13.
The biggest concern was bringing wages up to the industry standard.
“We managed to negotiate a healthy increase across the board for our members at Trickle Creek,” Bromley said “Over the three year agreement our members will see an average of a 14 per cent increase, depending on the position they hold. That will put them near or at the top of the industry standard for the area.
“We also improved earned vacation but also missed some of our goals, such as a negotiated benefit package for our members. But given the current financial climate the Hotel finds itself in, we think that we got the best deal for members that works for both parties. It’ll definitely be a goal in the next round of bargaining.
“I want to thank both bargaining committees for their tireless work throughout this process – most of the hours they spent negotiating were unpaid – and also the membership for their patience throughout the process,” added Bromley.
The United Steelworkers Local 1-405 is a diverse union representing over 1300 workers in Sawmills, Credit Unions, Insurance Services, Hotels, Ski Resorts and Municipal workers in the East and West Kootenays.