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Seaway workers ratify contract


CORNWALL, Ont. — The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation’s (SLSMC) unionized employees, members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, ratified a three-year labour agreement Oct. 22. Adoption of the contract, which covers the period April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2011, paves the way for continued progress in Seaway initiatives to modernize the system and improve its competitive position within the transportation sector, the company said in a release.

The agreement provides for annual wage increases of 3%, 3% and 3.25% over the three-year span of the contract, one additional paid holiday in February, and increases to shift and skilled trade allowances. The contract includes the flexibility for the corporation to move ahead with the development of new technology, which is expected to improve the system’s productivity and increase worker safety.

Richard Corfe, president and CEO, noted that the agreement reflects the Seaway’s commitment to ensuring that the system remains a competitive transportation artery well into the 21st century. “The corporation has been transparent with respect to its plans to achieve a sustainable business model, and is encouraged by the common ground that we have found with the CAW on critical issues.”

In reviewing the new agreement, Corfe emphasized that “the Seaway Management Corporation recognizes the key role of its employees. Together, we will continue to build upon the Seaway’s excellent reputation as a safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation artery.”