Red Clay Lodge workers set standard with first contract

After nearly five months of hard negotiations, one of Local 401’s newest bargaining units has secured a first contract that sets a new standard for service workers in Alberta’s booming oil sands.

The new UFCW Canada Local 401 members work at the Horizon North Camp & Catering Red Clay Lodge in Fort McMurray. Some of the huge gains in the contract, ratified unanimously by the membership, include a signing bonus of $750 for each camp worker, wage increases of 70 to 80% for all camp workers immediately upon ratification, and a Health and Welfare plan paid 100% by the company.

Most importantly, members in the bargaining unit now have a grievance procedure for the first time, and additional enhanced job security and protection through an employee's rights clause, establishment of seniority rights regarding layoffs and recalls, and language which prohibits contracting out of bargaining unit work.

Including the Red Clay Lodge bargaining unit, UFCW Canada Local 401 represents more than 1,000 members working in the Fort McMurray oil sands service sector.