The strike at UPM Miramichi paper mill in New Brunswick, Canada, ended as members of Local 689 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union voted in favour of a new five-year labour agreement on August 19, 2005. The paper mill will start up gradually; the first paper machine in mid-September and the second machine at a future date yet to be determined.
The new agreement includes an 11% wage increases over five years and pension improvements in line with the industry standard for mills in Eastern Canada. It also includes fundamental language changes, e.g. changes to lines of progression and new qualification requirements which include training and skills development. They all improve flexibility and productivity in the workplace that are critical to the Miramichi mill's future competitiveness.
About 700 paper and kraft mill employees at UPM Miramichi had been on strike since mid-December 2004. Before that, the union members had been working under the terms of the old contract with the company which expired June 30, 2004. Negotiations resumed earlier this month with the assistance of the New Brunswick government's mediation service resulting in a tentative agreement on August 13 which has now been ratified by Local 689 membership.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Heikki Malinen, President, UPM North America, tel. +1 678 428 0498
August 20, 2005