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Montreal – June 10, 2013 –The announcement of a new investment of $55 Million to expand the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Canada (GMCR Canada) coffee factory located in the Saint-Michel area in Montréal has been met enthusiastically by UFCW Canada Local 501 which represents unionized workers at the facility.
The expansion plans were announced June 7, at a media conference held at the Montréal factory. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, and Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and for the Banque de développement économique du Québec (a new agency provincial economic development agency) were both on hand for the announcemnt.
The upgrade to the facilities GMCR Canada facility will help create over a hundred new jobs for members, in addition to the more than 250 UFCW Canada Local 501 members who are already employed there. "This investment will be important in fuelling growth because, in particular, it will allow the consolidating, securing and creating of jobs by increasing the production volume at the factory in a sector where employees have good working conditions," says Mario Délisle, the Local 501 secretary-treasurer. "The Montréal factory will thus become a medium-size one, as opposed to a minor facility as it currently is under GMCR Canada’s standards. The expansion will secure the location as primary production facility and reinforce its position in GMCR's production allotment", says UFCW Canada Local 501 secretary treasurer Mario Délisle.
The idea of an expanding the facility was raised after GMCR Canada's president had visited the Montréal factory. As the collective agreement was due to expire in 2015, and since the construction work for the carrying out of this major project would take three years, the employer and UFCW Canada Local 501 agreed to reopen the collective agreements of all three bargaining units at the factory in the Saint-Michel area (including production, plant electricians, and laboratory workers). On October 28 and 29, 2012, GMCR Canada presented its proposed expansion plans to Local 501 members. After reviewing the proposal, 95% of workers agreed to renegotiate the terms of the collective agreement. On December 14, 2012, production employees were first to ratify the tentative agreement reached by their bargaining committee. Plant electricians ratified on January 14, 2013, followed by laboratory employees on January 22, 2013.
"We are very happy and proud to see that GMCR Canada management, with six non-unionized factories in the United States and Canada, has chosen to count on our unionized workers’ expertise and know-how. With this investment, GMCR has confirmed their trust in the quality and commitment of UFCW Canada Local 501 members", says Bother Délisle.