Exeter, ON—The 300 skilled tradespersons and apprentices employed by Exeter-based JMR Electric Ltd. voted over 80 percent in favour to accept terms for the renewal of their collective agreement.
The three-year contract settlement provides total hourly increases between $2.38 and $4.21 per hour for journeypersons as the base hourly wage rate will rise to $34 per hour. A significant increase to employee pension savings is also structured into the contract along with improvements to training funds, tool allowance, and vacation time.
JMR employees have been represented by Construction Workers Local 53 since April 2007. This is the third collective agreement reached between CLAC Local 53 and JMR Electric. Employees voted at regional meetings held in Windsor, Chatham, London, Exeter, and Cornwall during the week of January 27–30.
Throughout the period of contract renegotiation, representatives of several rival construction unions attempted to raid the membership away from CLAC. Despite the use of a dedicated organizing website, pamphleting, propaganda, and construction site presence by 28 full-time organizers from three trade unions throughout Ontario, JMR employees were determined to stay with and support CLAC.
JMR’s skilled tradespersons in its electrical and mechanical divisions have been constructing major projects such as hospitals, schools, retirement complexes, and recreation centres across Ontario. Recent noteworthy projects include:
Southwest – Southwest Detention Centre (Windsor), Windsor Regional Hospital, Lakeshore Recreation Centre (Belle River)
South – Ivey School of Business and student residence (University of Western Ontario, London),
Victoria and University Hospitals (London), St. Andre Bessette Catholic High School (London)
Central – Georgian Village (Penetanguishene), Science Building (University of Waterloo)
East – Cornwall Regional Hospital, CFB Trenton hanger, student residence (Queen’s University, Kingston)
“CLAC members working at JMR Electric make it an industry leader in Ontario construction,” says Roger Grootenboer, Ontario representative. “Our members are skilled, efficient, and highly trained. That’s why this contract keeps them well paid, with excellent healthcare benefits and retirement security.”