Union members at Molson Breweries have voted in favour of a new seven-year collective agreement. The company announced yesterday that unionised workers in its Montréal brewing and distribution operations voted 80.2% in favour of ratifying the agreement.

This agreement comes on the heels of similar ratified agreements in Molson's Toronto brewery where the current labour contract continues for the next two years, followed by a new ratified four-year contract. Both the Montréal and Toronto brewery collective agreements allow Molson a six to seven-year window of labour stability and the opportunity to further enhance efficiency in its production environment. These agreements cover more than three-quarters of the total unionised employee base in Canada and 74% of brewing capacity in Canada.

In summary, the new agreements afford brewery employees enhanced pension benefits, competitive wage increases of between 1.5% and 2.0 % starting in 2004 and job security, as well as address the reclassification of 117 transitional employees. They also provide the company with the workplace flexibility to meet the production strategy and world-class brewing standards objectives.

"This is great news and is a testament to the management, employees and unions' past and future commitment to work together and build close working relationships," said  Daniel J. O'Neill, president and CEO of Molson Inc. "These agreements ensure the future alignment of the business vision and work environment as well as deal with important employee issues. Just as importantly, they position the corporation to deliver on the goals of continuous improvement and sustained growth in Canada."

"We are very satisfied since this agreement meets our employees' expectations and there will be no jobs lost," said a spokesman for the Montréal Teamsters union. "The agreement, valid until 2010, includes significant progress, especially with respect to pension plans which will influence retirement departures and the promotion of younger employees to permanent positions."