Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Message from the Elko Plant Chairperson

Merry Christmas Everyone !

Well we finally got the Christmas time off that we have been pursuing for the past couple of years, except this one will be without pay. We hope as a committee that when times get better (and they will) that the company will be more flexible towards our wish of working some extra days to cover off a few days at Christmas.

One word I often hear is morale, that is a tough thing these days, but if there is one bright spot out there it is the fact that we are still working while many other mills are not. I know the looming shutdowns always worry everyone, but with the current economic slide around the world I feel we are some of the lucky ones. I think that we will be faced with more shutdowns throughout the year and no one has the crystal ball to say when and for how many days. Tembec has no idea about this either. Just be prepared for more shut downs and hope for less that’s all we can do. I am sure Tembec is doing their best to limit the impact of these shutdowns on all of us. At least we have the pulp mill which needs our chips and hog to run, what a blessing for us. One of our "plusses" is the fact we make quality lumber, that is one of the keys to keeping us competitive in today’s markets, so always be on the lookout for ways or ideas to improve our quality...it does help !

Some companies are selling their lumber for a cheaper price than the week before, which does not help any company to move inventory. In fact it may just make some companies sit on their products and wait for some better prices, which is a gamble too.

Tembec is actively working with the union to move forward with work sharing. It seems to be a slow process to get stated but we are moving ahead. I do not know at this time what the time frame will be to have this plan up and running but we will keep everyone informed as we get more information. We as a committee feel that one day off a week is a better option for the majority of our employees. This should lessen the blow of missing shifts.

Doug Wood
Plant Chair
Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405

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