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SNOLAB says workers have agreed to new collective agreement

United Steelworkers working at the SNOLAB research laboratory in Sudbury voted unanimously this week to reject what it describes as a “final” contract offer from their employer. (File) United Steelworkers working at the SNOLAB research laboratory in Sudbury voted unanimously this week to reject what it describes as a “final” contract offer from their employer. (File)
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Striking members of United Steelworkers local 2020-59 will soon be returning to work.

In a news release issued late Friday, SNOLAB has confirmed its 52 employees who have been walking the picket line for a month now, voted to accept a four-year settlement offer.

“This is excellent news for SNOLAB, and for Canada’s innovation sector,” said SNOLAB Executive Director Jodi Cooley.

“SNOLAB strives to provide a world-leading environment for exploring priority questions about the origins and nature of the universe and that includes providing an attractive work environment offering competitive wages and excellent benefits,” Cooley added.

The agreement will provide cost of living salary increases and will extend new family leave benefits to unionized workers.

Workers had voted back in April to reject what they had called a ‘substandard final offer’ from the employer.

“These workers have made SNOLAB a world-class research facility, but they’re struggling. They’re not looking to get rich – they just want respect and to be able to afford to live,” United Steelworkers Area Coordinator Pascal Boucher said at the time.

Work continued after the walkout to the dismay of many who had walked off the job.

SNOLAB has 129 permanent employees with 52 of them being part of USW local 2020-59.

Unionized staff make up a wide variety of roles, including cleaners/maintainers, chemical technologists, scientific support, trades and instrumentation techs.

The facility also plays host to more than 20 experiments engaged in the search for dark matter, the study of neutrino properties, life sciences and quantum technology.

It’s in the midst of commissioning several new experiments surrounding neutrino research and the search for dark matter.

“We value all of our employees and their contributions. We demonstrate this by offering very strong compensation and benefit packages, both for our sector and for our region, and I am proud that will continue,” said Cooley.

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