NEWS RELEASE - BONIFERRO MILL WORKS
******************* Collective agreement renewed aarly
Boniferro Mill Works and USWA – IWA, Local 1-1000 have agreed to renew their current Collective Agreement to December 31, 2010.
The former agreement covered the period from March 31, 2003 to March 30, 2008.
The agreement provides a 2% wage increase effective January 2, 2005 that was originally scheduled to take place in January 2006.
The extension also will improve wages 11% by the year 2010.
Boniferro Mill Works purchased all of the assets from Domtar for the Sault Ste. Marie hardwood sawmill in March of 2003.
At that time, the mill employed thirty-two (32) people.
Today its work force has grown to sixty (60) employees.
"The extension of the current agreement is an example of the strong partnership we have built with our employees and the union from the day we started operation. This stability will allow us to continue on our modernization and expansion plans as outlined in our original business plan," said Jim Boniferro, President and CEO.
That business plan calls for $5 million of investment in the first five years of operation.
"To date, we have invested more than $2.5 million in mill improvements." Last January, a new tele-twin band mill was added.
The amended agreement will also reduce the standard work week from forty-three (43) hours to forty (40) hours by 2007.
John Goldthorp, 2nd Vice President USWA – IWA, Local 1-1000 stated: "This is a good example of how a working relationship can be profitable for both the Employer and the Union members. From day one, when Jim took over the mill, we have had a relationship built on trust and a belief that to succeed we needed to work together."
The agreement extension allows for yearly reviews of the provisions of wages and benefits, and was a fundamental part of the agreement that allowed for mill expansion and investment.
That investment is showing dividends that bode well for the long term, and the membership can only gain from long term commitment.
"It goes to show that Unions do have a place in today’s work environment, and can also help Employers grow and have stability in tough market conditions. This is a win win situation."
Boniferro Mill Works is a hardwood sawmill located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
They produce sixteen million (16,000,000) board feet of Hard and Soft Maple and White and Yellow Birch lumber annually.
Their products are marketed exclusively through Fox Lumber Sales of Hamilton, Montana. (www.foxlumber.com or www.mapleandbirch.com)