The tentative agreement between the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 and Western Forest Products has been ratified. The WFP employees have been on strike since July 1. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

The votes are in and the nearly eight-month-long forestry strike that devastated parts of Vancouver Island has finally ended.

Eight-one per cent of the United Steel Workers Local 1-19137 membership voted in favour of ratifying the tentative agreement with Western Forest Products.

The agreement includes a 12.5 per cent increase in wages in two- and three-percent increments over five years, increased premiums for those with first aid, a safety boot allowance and changes to policies on shift work. It also includes zero concessions.

Western Forest Products said in a statement the new five-year collective agreement is retroactive to June 15, 2019. Workers have been without a contract since June 14, 2019.

The union announced a tentative agreement had been reached on Monday. Saturday’s announcement finalizes the end of a lengthy battle between the union and forestry company. In July 2019, roughly 2,600 workers walked off their jobs at the sawmills.

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