United Steelworkers make gains at Delta Airlines

The best pay rates in the industry are among significant improvements in a new collective agreement achieved by United Steelworkers (USW) members working at Delta Airlines operations in Canada.

USW Local 1976 members approved the new, five-year contract in ratification votes held across Canada this month.

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The contract covers more than 300 Delta employees at airports across the country, including ticket and gate agents, baggage handlers and ramp workers.

“This contract represents a great achievement for our members and for our bargaining committee,” said Steven Hadden, president of USW Local 1976.

“With the solidarity and support of our membership, the bargaining committee achieved meaningful contract improvements while also defending our members’ defined-benefit pension plan and contracting-out language that maintains job security.”

The new, five-year collective agreement provides a 4.5 per cent wage increase this year, to be followed by increases of 3.5 per cent in 2019 and three per cent in each of the last three years of the contract, making Delta employees the highest-paid in Canada.

Approximately 50 per cent of the employees covered by the collective agreement also will receive additional wage increases in the contract’s first year, to address disparities in pay rates in some job classifications.

These employees will receive wage increases ranging from 13 per cent to 16 per cent this year.

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Other gains in the new collective agreement include increases in shift premiums and improved vision care and paramedical coverage.

“This is a solid collective agreement that recognizes the key contributions the members of Steelworkers Local 1976 make at Delta Airlines,” said USW Canadian Director Ken Neumann.

“The hard work and excellent customer service that our members bring to their jobs each day are vital to the company’s success.”

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