Unifor says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with Resolute Forest Products covering one group of workers in a deal the union hopes will set a pattern across Quebec’s forestry sector.
The agreement still needs to be ratified by forestry workers in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region. Talks will then extend to Resolute (TSX:RFP) employees in other regions of the province before moving to other companies, including Tembec (TSX:TMB).
Pattern bargaining is also being sought in the industry’s paper and sawmill segments, union representative Renaud Gagne said.
He said the union targeted the sector’s largest company before trying to reach similar deals with smaller producers.
Gagne said the agreement leaves room to adapt contracts to circumstances at individual mills.
Resolute spokesman Karl Blackburn said the company was pleased a deal had been reached.
“This is an agreement that will provide stability for the next five years,” he said, adding that while it benefits workers it also recognizes business realities, including a slower than expected recovery in the U.S. and a modest recovery in the housing sector.