Saturday, August 9, 2008

July 17, 2008 Union - Management Meeting

USW – Elko Plant Committee
Union Management Meeting – July 17 2008

Union Committee Present: Doug W, Lee R, Jeff B, Dave S, Enzo C. Brian G.
Management Present: Ian L, Roland K, Eric D, Dave P, Brett O

Item #1. Company Update
Management- Pulp has reached a tentative agreement. It has been recommended to accept. It is a 4 yr deal. Prices are still very good. They have had some troubles at Skook after shutdown in May, but things are improving.
After our summer shut we have no other shuts planned right now. We have budgeted for the two weeks at Xmas to be down, but if the price of lumber keeps climbing we could work through Xmas. The price of lumber is slowly improving. Our mill net improved to 250/1000 fbm, up from 240.

Item #2. Scaler Issues
Union- Our logs are going to Mardis and a retired scaler is doing the job. This is our chipper and our wood, why not use our scalers?

Management- There is a Canal scaler there, its closer for that scaler to go.

Union- Why not use our scalers? The scaler you are talking about is retired.

Management- We are not sure about that.

Union- When our trainee is done, why not utilize our people, this just makes sense. This will keep our people in the loop and utilizing their skills.

Management- When the trainee is done, we will look at it. (Much discussion)

Union- You were going to get back to us on the issue of pay scales, that being licence scalers and permit scalers, what did you find out?

Management- We could not find this anywhere, can we table this and we will get back to you after some discussion in town. We will have an answer for you at the next U/M meeting in August.

Union- This week we had a RTW issue at the scale shack, after a number of phone calls and messages we straightened it out. Why such the confusion when we have handled the situation many times in the past?

Management- There was some miscommunication on both sides, but after a call to the Plant Manager, things were resolved.

Union- Yes, we agree, miscommunication. Let’s learn from this and move forward. This should not happen again. (Much discussion)

Item #3. Contractor on Site
Union- this is twice that you have had a contractor come on site without telling us!!

Management- Hold on for a minute, we talked to Key Knife about coming on site to do some work on the chip n saw. They were on their way through from Alberta and ahead of schedule so they stopped in (without telling anybody) and did the job. This job was a warranty job, let’s make that clear. So we had no idea they were in, they informed no one.

Union- We suggest you lay the law down with them and make sure that does not happen again. Not only do you have to inform us of contractors on site BEFORE they arrive, but what about the safety issues??

Management – We will be having a talk with them.

Item #4. Apprenticeship Update
Union- What is the latest? (Electrical)

Management- We have one more to write. There was a mix up. It should be on Monday.

Union- There have been some issues in other parts the local, but one of the business agents should be there.

Item #5. New Hires
Union- What is the status of the new hires, how many did we get?

Management- We got one transfer, and have hired two

Item #6. Smoking
Union- We had a worker go home recently because his work area smelled like smoke and perfume. He is tired of this and is very angry.

Management- We had a meeting with the person involved and laid the law down on smoking. From now on, if a work area smells like smoke we will send the person smoking home.

Union- What about smoking across the tracks?

Management- People can smoke on thier own time, off Company property. (This is when the complete ban comes in as of Oct. 2009, until then it’s in designated areas only) Our property goes right to the river, so they will have to drive to the gates.

Union- You better make sure about your property going to the river.

Item #7. Shorts are too low
Union- We don’t have enough shorts

Management- deliveries are picking up, we should be ok.

Item #8. Summer shutdown work list
Union- Lets get started on this now. We don’t want any problems like all the other times we have had a shutdown.

Management- We agree, we will work with you on this next week

Item #9. Community Trust Program for retirees
Union- Why would you not support this program? Last meeting we talked about the things you can do to keep people happy here, and now you turn our people down for this program?? You are just making these guys mad, not too mention the younger guys see this and think Tembec is just screwing the workers again.

Management- It’s the fact that we cannot create a skill shortage. We talked to head office and we cannot pick and choose. Not too mention we cannot afford to loose trades.

Union- Loose trades!! The people that want to utilize this program are retiring anyway!! Your going to loose them regardless. There are at least three people that can benefit from this program and we have people in place to fill the holes.
All we are saying is look at this on an individual basis; judge each case on its merits.

Management- We will talk with head office again.

Item #10. Stacker breaks
Union- The people on one of the shifts at the s/m stacker are tired of their breaks
being changed repeatedly. They want a schedule for breaks drawn up.

Management- We can lock them into this if they want. (Much discussion)

Union- Maybe we should talk to them again just to make sure they are clear about locking them in.

Management- Get back to us

Item #11. Organizational changes by Jean Luc
Union- Since JLC has taken over the running of Tembec west, have there been any organizational changes?

Management- No, he has said that he wants the safety aspect to improve at our mills, but as far as how things run, no, there have been no changes.

Item #12. Cheque from Worksafe B.C.
Union- We understand that Tembec received a $3300 cheque from Worksafe? What do you plan on doing with this?

Management- We don’t know.

Union- Well, why don’t you take Elko’s share and put on a dinner for the people? Not too mention you have a crew over at the Planer with ten years accident free, this kind of record needs to be recognized. We realize the industry is in the tank, but at the coal mines for one year accident free the whole shift got one day off with pay. Let’s show our people that safety is number one and recognize it as so.

Management- We will look at this (Not a day off with pay)

Minutes by,
Lee Rodger
Elko Plant Secretary

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