Turning Point Brewery Workers Ratify First Collective Agreement
Delta, BC – Turning Point Brewery workers ratified their first Collective Agreement on Saturday, with an overwhelming majority voting “yes” to a contract that includes yearly wage increases, various job protections and benefits.
“We are all very pleased to have ratified our first Collective Agreement with Turning Point,” said Glenn Solomon, who was a member of the Bargaining Committee and works as a Senior Blender at the brewery. “It represents a lot of hard work behind the scenes at the bargaining table.”
The brewery of over 60 workers unionized last October around the issue of low and uneven wages, excessive disciplines, and a lack of transparency from Management.
“In our contract, we won yearly wage increases that are clearly spelled out each year,” explains George Serhan, another member on the Bargaining Committee. “This is significant because before this, wage increases were done in a very uneven way and there were some workers who didn’t receive wage increases for years.”
In addition to wage increases, the workers also won pay premiums ranging from $0.75 cents to $2.00 for different shifts, including evening, night, and weekend shifts, as well as premiums for lead hands, forklift operators and workers with qualified first aid training.
One major issue affecting workers before unionizing was the contracting out of jobs. Previously, the Employer would roll workers over on one-year contracts for years, a practice many workers viewed as unfair and precarious.
This practice has now ended. Instead, the company is permitted to hire temporary workers during peak times for up to six months and after the six-month period must offer full-time employment.
“One of the most important gains with the union is job security,” explains George Serhan. “Without a union, we were at the mercy of Management but now there is a clear policy and grievance procedure in place that protects workers.” Serhan works in the Maintenance Department as an Electrician and Programmer.
The Collective Agreement ratified also allows workers to accept positions outside the bargaining unit and be able to return to their former position. Language addressing fair workloads and protections to some benefits Turning Point workers already enjoyed before unionizing such as health benefits, paid sick days, and a pension plan is also part of the deal.
Solomon explains that “while there is more work to be done, our members could be assured that the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] affords them fair representation, mutual respect and a voice that will be heard. We look forward to continuing to make high quality beverages that are enjoyed by so many here within the Lower Mainland and beyond.”
Turning Point Brewing is owned by Ready to Drink (RTD), which has seen sales and profits soar due to higher demands of bottled and canned cocktails. The 24-hour operation in Delta, B.C. brews beer, cider, mixed drinks, and cocktails from numerous brands and companies. Some of the beverages produced there include Turning Point Apple Cider, Stanley Park Beer, Hop Charge, Nutrl Vodka, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
November 6, 2021 – Turning Point Brewery Workers review the Memorandum of Agreement before voting on Saturday.