Unionized security guards at ASAP Secured Inc. in Goderich have achieved their first collective agreement, overcoming significant challenges that included a lockout imposed by their employer.
The security guards, who are members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9597, voted Monday to ratify a two-year contract that includes wage increases and other improvements to the terms and conditions of their jobs.
“After joining the union, these workers stood together for many months to defend their right to collective bargaining and to have union representation in their workplace,” said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.
“Their solidarity allowed them to overcome an unnecessary lockout and achieve a fair collective agreement,” Warren said.
The USW Local 9597 members at ASAP Secured provide security services at the Compass Minerals operations in Goderich.
After being unexpectedly locked out of their jobs last Dec. 10 by ASAP Secured, the workers filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) for first contract mediation.
The OLRB also agreed with the workers’ contention that ASAP Secured should have ended its lockout after the mediation process began in early January. The OLRB ordered the company to end the lockout and the workers returned to their jobs on Jan. 19 as the mediation process continued.