In the midst of a global pandemic, Purdy’s union members voted to accept a tentative deal with measures in place for a pension plan and improved short-term disability coverage.
The two-year deal includes a wage freeze for 2020 and a $700 lump sum payment in the second year. There are measures to strengthen the union, including more shop stewards and a union orientation for all new hires. There are also increased wages for candy-maker apprentices and first aid attendants.
The agreement was reached while Purdy’s has closed their retail stores across Canada and mostly shut down their factory. Local 2000 represents close to 200 workers at the Kingsway factory and Chester warehouse in Vancouver.
“Thank you to all of the Purdy’s members for your patience during this process. This agreement gives us time to get through the pandemic and build an even stronger union for the next round of bargaining,” said Jennifer Moreau, Local 2000 secretary-treasurer.
Bargaining started before the pandemic hit, but once social distancing measures were in place, the committee had to conduct mediation through conference calls. The members’ meeting to review the tentative agreement was held virtually via two webinars, and the vote was held electronically. For members who do not have access to computers, information was mailed to home addresses, and there were call-in options for both the webinars and the electronic vote. The vote opened on Friday, May 15, and polls closed on Tuesday, May 19.
Unifor Local 2000 would like to thank the bargaining committee volunteers who dedicated their time and expertise towards negotiating the new contract: Yung Phou, Shannon Morrison, Princess Del Pozo and Diana Caulfield. National Representative Jean Van Vliet led the bargaining team, alongside Local 2000 President Brian Gibson and Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Moreau.
Special thanks to the Elections Committee volunteers, Dustin Godfrey and Joe Fries, and Local 2000 staff Cathy Cartwright for coordinating the electronic vote.