Quebec City - January 23, 2014 – UFCW Canada Local 503 members at Carriages of New France (Calèches de la Nouvelle-France) in Quebec City have achieved a first contract, and the first of its kind in North America. The members provide horse carriage tours and guide services to visitors and residents of Quebec City. On January 10, arbitrator Léonce E. Roy ruled on a first collective agreement that runs until November 9, 2016.
Retroactive to November 11, 2013, the contract includes language on work performed by persons excluded from the bargaining unit; union duties; seniority; disciplinary measures; breaks and meals; wages and premiums; vacation; personal leaves; and working hours.
Other highlights of the agreement include:
- Guarantee of 35-40 paid hours for full-time employees;
- Additional paid meal period during overtime hours;
- Double time rate for hours worked on statutory holidays;
- Performance bonus of $5.00 per sold tour in addition to basic wage;
- Choice of vacation time by seniority, unaffected by time chosen by persons outside the unit;
- Paid bereavement leave of 1-3 days, according to family relationship with the employee;
- Dental care plan fully paid by the employer;
- Sick leave of 18 hours paid to full-time employees;
- Uniform provided at the employer’s expense;
- Winter boots and coat provided at the employer’s expense;
- Paid leave for jury duty;
- Integration of wage scales as of November 11, 2013;
- Annual wage increase of 2%;
- Implementation of a $1.60 per hour increase for the majority of employees.
The contract is the first-ever union collective agreement in North America for a group of coach drivers and guides. There was therefore no precedent on which to base the determination of their working conditions. As such, the Local 503 members at Carriages of New France are pioneers in their profession.