**************************** Settlement ratified: steelworkers vote to end TD-Canada Trust strike
SUDBURY, ON - (July 23) - United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser announced Monday that, in a second vote, members of USW Local 2020 have voted 56 percent in favour of a settlement reached early last week with TD-Canada Trust, putting an end to a month-long strike at eight of the bank's branches in Sudbury.
The strike was the first multi-branch strike in modern Canadian banking history. The new, two-year contract with an effective date of January 15 2007, starts with performance review increases retroactive to January 1, including the period of the strike.
A 35-cent-an-hour increase for all 112 unionized employees is effective July 30.
Employees are also guaranteed increases of 2.2 percent as of January 1, 2008.
The agreement expires January 15, 2009.
As well, severance protection has been improved so that workers employed from three months to five years will receive severance of 2.5 weeks of pay for each year of service.
Five to 10 years means 3 weeks of pay for each year of service, and more than 10 years yields 3.5 weeks per year of service.
"The guarantees in this agreement represent a breakthrough for these workers as well as for TD-Canada Trust employees across the country," said Fraser.
"The workers, who are mostly women, fought for and won a level of fairness in the bank's pay system."
USW Sudbury Representative Jim Kmit said the union looks forward to working with the bank over the next year-and-a-half to ensure that the agreement is respected and upheld.
"These workers fought for a better deal and they won," said Kmit.
"We intend to continue making improvements in pay and working conditions, and to make working in these branches of the TD-Canada Trust chain the best jobs they can be."
Support for the workers has been strong since the strike started on June 18, including people coming forward to cut up their TD-issued credit cards and many prepared to move accounts away from the bank.
The eight Sudbury branches are the only unionized branches in the TD-Canada Trust chain.
The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 280,000 men and women working in every sector of the economy, including more than 1,000 bank and financial services workers.