Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010





….and a Happy New Year in 2011!

"There's more, much more, to Christmas
Than candlelight and cheer;
It's the spirit of sweet friendship
That brightens all year.
It's thoughtfulness and kindness,
It's hope reborn again,
For peace, for understanding,
And for goodwill to men!"

Greetings and all the best wishes from your Elko Plant Committee. We hope this holiday season gives you peace, joy, and rest so you may go refreshed into the New Year of 2011. Our thoughts for Christmas cheer are with the workers at the Elko millsite.

Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo,
Dave Szots, Dave Tracey, Reuben Blackwater, and Tom Molenaar.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Support our USW Negotiating Committee

To all members of USW Southern Interior from Local 1-405 Plant Committee at Elko:

As most, if not all, of you know, we have been without a contract since July 1, 2009. As the end of November approaches, this will mark 17 months without a labour agreement. What you may not know is that the forest industry in the Southern Interior (that's us) is the ONLY area of BC without an agreement.

Apparently, the IFLRA (the companies) don't think that we deserve the same agreement that our brothers and sisters in other areas of the province received. We beg to differ. Negotiations are going nowhere. It is time for us to send the IFLRA a message. Our union will likely call a strike vote in the near future. DON'T PANIC! No one wants a strike. However, we do need to support our Negotiating Committee and we do that by returning a very strong strike vote (something in the high 90's). Think of it as a tool to aid the bargaining process and give our Negotiators some leverage.

We, the forest industry workers in Local 1-405, have not had a labour disruption since 1986, so there are a lot of you out there who may be experiencing this type of situation for the first time. We have already heard some concerns at the workplace about not wanting to go on strike. We don't think anybody does. Again, DON'T PANIC! Remember; think of the strike vote as a tool...something our Negotiating team can use as leverage. It will be used ONLY as the last possible resort. There are additional non-strike tactics your union can use if we have a strike mandate.

When the time comes to vote, we urge all members to back our Negotiating Team and vote YES!

In Solidarity,
The Elko Plant Committee

November 27, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Union Management Meeting - November 25, 2010

Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Dave Tracey.
Management Present: Roland K, Ian L, Lloyd T, Dave P.
Meeting commenced 2:30 P.M.


· Meeting started with the introduction of our new maintenance supervisor, Lloyd T.

OLD BUSINESS
Update on how Bid Boxes are Working
MANAGEMENT: These bid boxes are working well. We give the union copies to Bryan.

Uncertified Planerman and Trades – Where are we on this?
MANAGEMENT: Our original discussion referred only to Planermen (changing knives, etc.)
UNION: Uncertified trades are not on the table from our standpoint.

Weekend Maintenance Helper Rates of Pay
UNION: Regarding O.T. rates of pay for weekend maintenance helpers we see if the job is at the Planer, it is the worker’s job rate. If the weekend job is at the Mill, it is base rate. Why?
MANAGEMENT: Weekend work at the planer is a maintenance function, not just a helper.
UNION: We would like you to pay the worker’s job rate as at the Planer. You would get consistent people if you pay the higher rate.
MANAGEMENT: You get paid the rate for the job you are doing, e.g. maintenance helper or clean up.
UNION: Why not pay weekend O.T. maintenance helper their job rate as done for many years here.
MANAGEMENT: Leave this with us, we will look into it.

NEW BUSINESS
Company Update
MANAGEMENT: The general meeting at the Elko hall provided us with the most positive information we have had in the last five years. Now the company is seriously looking at mill upgrades. Additionally, marketing has also provided us with a very optimistic outlook going forward.
UNION: What about how things went with our collective agreement negotiations? It appears that on the very same day Troy H. was giving out this positive outlook to us at the Elko hall, with donuts, coffee, and a warm fuzzy feeling, Tembec H.R. personnel, Tom K. and Roland K. were putting the boots to us workers at the negotiating table. The workers here won’t accept the third rate agreement you have offered as your final offer. We have the better quality wood compared to CONIFER mills, yet you want us to accept less than the collective agreement they signed onto. It is totally unacceptable that we don’t get the same deal signed for the rest of the province.
MANAGEMENT: We don’t discuss negotiations here.

Tembec Standing in Community
UNION: Will Tembec support other organizations? From the Elko hall meeting it was stated you pay others in 45 days, but want YOUR money immediately. Is that how you are treating the union?
MANAGEMENT: Putting what was said in context, we work with vendor’s terms. If they demand payment sooner, or immediate, we oblige.
UNION: But was it made to sound like Tembec is a bully?
MANAGEMENT: Not at all, just smart business to hold onto cash as long as possible.
UNION: By comparison, the mines in the Elk Valley set aside money to support the community.
MANAGEMENT: Our decision to do that right now is “no,” but we think we will get back to that too, once our own house is in order – but that is a decision for the board of directors.
UNION: What about your support of the Elko Fire Hall Project?
MANAGEMENT: Dennis R. made a proposal to the R.D.E.K. as per the Minister’s directive to find a solution. We acknowledge weekend support from the proposed Elko Fire Hall will help us out but certainly not to the tune of taxes they are seeking from us. What we have proposed to the R.D.E.K. in taxes may not be enough to carry this project forward without incurring extra large tax amounts on Elko residents.

Current Mill Downtime
UNION: Why would we have these days of downtime, Nov. 23, 24, & 25, when we have run in this type of cold weather before?
MANAGEMENT: With the loss of skilled manpower, winterization of the mill got dropped. Our winterization should have been done by mid-October.
UNION: After such a positive outlook at the Elko hall general meeting, how do you tell Troy H. that the mill is now going down?
MANAGEMENT: When the production numbers drop because of the problems in the mill, he understands.
UNION: How does this sawmill downtime affect rough dry inventory for the planer? Were you not going to run some Saturday O.T. shifts at the planer in December to reduce that inventory?
MANAGEMENT: We will see what our inventory is this weekend, and decide later if those O.T. shifts are needed. We still have the go ahead to run extra 2 to 3 night shifts at the Planer if needed.

Spare Lumber Grading Job
UNION: According to the results of recent job postings, you have selected 2 spare lumber graders, when the posting called for only one. You will have to re-post for one more spare lumber grader.
UNION: A question has arisen regarding the ramifications of a spare trainee voluntarily giving up a training position prior to being deemed competent. We see at the sawmill a “Job Resignation Form” spells out the repercussions, but it is our understanding this spare lumber grader candidate only signed a “P/N” at the planer to acknowledge simply the spare was given up.
MANAGEMENT: We will have a discussion on this and decide, depending on what document was signed by this individual.

Job Training
UNION: With this week of downtime at the sawmill, why couldn’t we do more training, since we still have the Letourneau spare job candidate to complete his training, and the same at the RT, Log Sort Machine, etc.
MANAGEMENT: Give us a list of what jobs require spares to be trained.
UNION: At the Elko hall general meeting you said you are hiring five or so new workers. Won’t that allow us to commence training soon?
MANAGEMENT: We have got to get the training in order. Hiring extra workers doesn’t mean we can release everyone for training right away. Some of those requiring training mean we need more trained lumber graders to replace the trainee.
UNION: We recommend you take advantage of this time to train more spare graders to relieve the bottle-neck there. Train at least one spare grader per shift at the planer.

Oiler Requesting to Hold Spare Job
UNION: A spare lumber grader is now an oiler. We don’t agree he will have to give up his spare because he is now an oiler. In the past, it was a “gentlemen’s agreement” that said Oilers can’t hold spares. Moving forward there is nothing in the Job Training Program to say oilers can’t hold a spare.
MANAGEMENT: How does the shifts line-up so we can use this spare?
UNION: Daily, not so good, but on a week to week basis it should work.
MANAGEMENT: This is something we will have to manage then, but with difficulty.

Electricians and Kiln Fork Alternate Shift Schedule
UNION: You just can’t agree with workers to implement an Alternate Shift Schedule. There is a process to be followed; otherwise the company is liable for O.T. wages if it is not done legally.
MANAGEMENT: The formal letter of understanding for the electricians is in process.
UNION: For the kiln forks, make sure you tell those guys there is a change asked for by you in their work schedule. Once the process is approved – make sure you follow the schedule.

Request to Extend Term Mechanic
UNION: The Committee begrudgingly agrees to extend the term mechanic job to the end of this year, because of the new Service Man’s need for training. You must get the get the paperwork done immediately, and signed off before next Sunday night.


Tembec’s Effort to keep our Trades People
MANAGEMENT: We have talked about what we can do to keep our Trades People, but have not come up with anything.
UNION: What about paying extra, over and above the Collective Agreement rates?
MANAGEMENT: We believe this leads us to look toward investing in apprenticeships. Timing is all. The Corporate head office understands we are competing with the mines.
UNION: With the electrician shortage, how will you have electrician manpower to make the electrical apprenticeship training happen?
MANAGEMENT: We will find a way, via shadowing.

Weekend Chargehands to have List of Workers Coming to Work
UNION: For safety reasons the Weekend Chargehands should have this list.
MANAGEMENT: This has been rectified, with the Planer Chargehand being provided the list via Larry.

Check Grader Position
MANAGEMENT: We have a new template for staff that will include a Q.C. position.

Accident Investigation Turned Back
MANAGEMENT: This investigation was submitted but when read over; it was missing a lot of information of what happened near the gas pumps.
UNION: This accident happened as a result of not being ready to work safely in all conditions. It was immediately after our Elko hall meeting where Troy H. was promoting safety. We need to do more than just “talk the talk” of safety.
MANAGEMENT: We do what’s needed for safety. When the winter storm hit, Aurele shut the planer down to sand. As for mobile equipment, chains do not go on them until the snow is on the ground, keeping in mind the installation of chains takes time.



MEETING ADJOURNED 5:00 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405
· Next Meeting: December 21 or 22, 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

IFLRA RAMS FINAL DOCUMENT AT USW SUGGESTS UNION ACCEPT THIRD-RATE DEAL

Believing that they have the USW backed into a corner, the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) has decided to ignore the progress agreed upon in the northern interior pattern and has instead offered the Union an inferior third-rate final document. After inviting the Union to resume bargaining in late October, the southern interior company association has now—after only a few days of meaningful bargaining—turned their backs on the Union’s attempt to meet and maintain the northern interior pattern agreement.

Surprisingly, this third-rate employer position is endorsed by the same IFLRA members Tolko Industries and West Fraser Mills who consider the pattern fair for their northern interior employees but sadly, too good for their southern interior counterparts. After implementing the deal in their northern operations, these companies are now moving towards building a better economic future and benefiting from their expanding market share–obviously enjoying their spoils in the north while sniffing at the requests for the same fair deal in the south.

The USW notes that the last and final proposal from the IFLRA did not address existing alternate shift scheduling which the IFLRA shockingly claims their employees are quite happy to accept, no retro-active pay for Tradesman and Power Engineers as a result of the IFLRA choosing to go last in bargaining, a rejection of the health and safety proposals, and less severance pay than what is required under BC law.

In addition to dismissing the Union proposals for fair treatment for Union members in the south, the IFLRA is demonstrating contempt for all their employees by having the gall to tell the BC Interior Bargaining Committee that they understand the needs of their employees far better than their Union.

Because of these unacceptable actions by the employer association, Local Unions in the southern interior will be seeking a mandate from their members.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #40 - November 17, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

USW PICKS UP BARGAINING THREADS IN SOUTHERN INTERIOR WITH IFLRA

The USW BC Interior Bargaining Committee and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) have finished a week of collective bargaining in Kelowna.

After five months of watching from the sidelines, the IFLRA signaled to the union that they were ready to resume talks and bargain the renewal of the southern interior master agreement that came to term in late June of last year. During the long pause in bargaining, the USW has moved their bargaining mandate forward in other regions and negotiated tentative agreements with CONIFER, Western Forest Products, Forest Industrial Relations, and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd..

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee stands committed in their efforts to continue the pattern in the southern interior. But surprisingly, the USW Bargaining Committee found itself working even harder to steady the equality bar because it seems the IFLRA finds it acceptable for union members employed by IFLRA-member company southern interior operations—with roots in both BC interior regions—to be treated as second class citizens when compared to those in the northern interior. The IFLRA is insisting that they require an advantage over the northern interior and are holding back provisions that their member companies with operations in the north have not only knowingly accepted for their unionized employees, but were agreeable players in the northern interior bargaining table.

The USW is determined to fight this double-standard and win a fair contract for their southern interior union members. Bargaining with the IFLRA will resume on Monday, November 15th in Kelowna.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #39 - October 29, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Union Management Meeting - October 13, 2010



Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Dave Tracey.
Management Present: Roland K, Ian L, Brad J, Dave P.

Meeting commenced 2:40 P.M.


NEW BUSINESS


Company Update
MANAGEMENT: The three mills that made money for Tembec were Chapleau, Canal Flats, and Elko. Elko was the only mill to make a positive gain for the company, but not by much. Our Western group out here performed well - we were better than budget.
Going forward we don’t anticipate any shutdowns.
UNION: What about between Christmas and New Years?
MANAGEMENT: We don’t think a Christmas shutdown will happen this year. Running makes more sense than downtime as running currently reduces our losses here. If there were to be any downtime, it would depend on other factors, like chip supply, changes in market conditions, etc., so that would be a last minute type of decision.

Staffing
MANAGEMENT: Jeremy S. is now the new Foreman on C Crew at the Planer, and Aurele B. is the new Foreman on B Crew at the Planer. They are long term Elko employees who will do a good job for us and continue their career here.
Additionally, we may have a new Maintenance Supervisor, and will know for sure by next week.
UNION: The concern from our point of view is that are you guys able to do your jobs properly with less supervisory manning.
Also looking at the tradesmen, we are loosing Dennis the electrician very soon, and in the future quite a few millwrights will be retiring in 3 to 5 years.
How much does Dennis R. realize you need more supervisory staff and more apprenticeships to keep this place running?
In fact, what about planermen, what are you going to do there?
MANAGEMENT: As for planermen, we could train guys for planer set-up, changing knives, etc. In the meantime, you (the Union) should look at the trades difference between the mill and the mines – it’s about a 30% higher package at the mine.
MANAGEMENT: Dennis R. has the legitimate fear of adding cost to Tembec without this company being in good and solid financial shape.
UNION: You are now at the point you cannot attract workers to Elko.
MANAGEMENT: Roland is spending 70% of his time recruiting staff. As for the trades, we are thinking about using uncertified tradesmen. What would you think about that?
UNION: We would have no issue with uncertified tradesmen, as long as you use seniority. Probably use the apprenticeship selection procedure to select the candidates.
MANAGEMENT: We will have to be creative in filling holes. We need to get Dennis R. and Jim L to see our needs. The biggest hole we will have will be in electrical, but the upside is a new Area Superintendent will come on board next week, and he will be responsible for big picture stuff in the electrical dept.
UNION: Tembec has hired a consulting firm, what’s that all about?
MANAGEMENT: Poyry Consultant Group has been hired, and they have worked with the forest industry for years with proven results.
They will be in Elko for the next few weeks to start, with staff and 8 or 9 hourly guys involved. Poyry will look at management systems that will be able to track data using their programming at all the mill centres. That will provide us will large amounts of data that we can break down into reports so we can use that information to drive projects.
Poyry are systems specialists and not people specialist. It is expected the pay back in the costs for their services will be in the six months range.

Sign-up Sheets Missing and some Jobs not Posted in All Areas
MANAGEMENT: Three job sign-up sheets have gone missing at the Planer in the last three months.
-We are going to implement what they do in Canal Flats, and have individuals sign up sheets placed by bidders into a locked bid box after both the bidder and foreman signs off on it. One box will be at the Planer office (looked after by Dave P.), and one at the Sawmill office (looked after by Mike M.)
UNION: Ron will collect the union copy of these postings at the planer and Jeff will do that at the mill.
-Some job postings were not put up at the scales nor at the garage.
MANAGEMENT: It was an oversight, and we will make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Elko Fire Hall
UNION: Can you tell us what the Company position is on the Elko Fire Hall project. There are members who work at this sawmill who live in Elko.
MANAGEMENT: Dennis R. complained that the process used by the R.D.E.K. was wrong by not providing the 3 biggest companies in the Elko area with information on the implementation of the amount taxes this project would levy on us. (These companies are Tembec, C.P.R., and A.N.G.) The tax level turned out to be substantially higher, over double what was expected, and this was found out late in the game.
Dennis R. expressed his displeasure to the B.C. Minister responsible, and the Minister got in touch with the R.D.E.K. telling them to revise their bylaw on this matter.
UNION: Would this Company support the Elko Fire Hall project if economic times were better?
MANAGEMENT: We spend lots of money on our own fire prevention. Our impression is the Elko Fire Hall service area boundary was extended to include the mill to obtain revenue from taxing us.
UNION: Would you not have a reduction of your insurance by being within this specific fire protection area?
MANAGEMENT: Not one dollar of insurance reduction will come our way. We are not willing to pay extra taxes, especially not at the level of 20% of the taxes for the entire project.
UNION: This Elko Fire Hall project will be part of the two other existing regional Fire Halls, one in Jaffray, and the other in Baynes Lake, and will, through the R.D.E.K., operate as a team with them. The benefits of coverage for the larger area are immeasurable, extending to individuals living well beyond Elko. Could you see Tembec taking a balanced approach on this issue and coming to a compromise on this matter?
MANAGEMENT: Dennis R. said he will talk to the R.D.E.K. on this matter.
UNION: It should be pointed out that Corporations, like Tembec, got their way in B.C. by having the provincial government impose the HST, which is a tax system that offloads corporate tax onto the backs of individuals. Now that you have that break, it is up to you to support taxes for projects like this fire hall.
MANAGEMENT: It is only because our costs go down that we can continue to operate.
UNION: In days gone by, C.F.I. was a big part in building the Canal Flats arena, and Cominco built facilities in Kimberley. Will you ever be part of community support again in the same way?
MANAGEMENT: Not to the same degree.


Probationary Employees Working Stat Holiday
UNION: You had two employees, who under the Alternate Shift Schedule gained 240 hours, so were full time probationary, and subject to provisions of “Paid Stat Holidays” in the Master Agreement.
MANAGEMENT: There was an incorrect reading of the Master Agreement. We will pay them properly.

Kiln Chargehand Shift Rotation
UNION: Your kiln Chargehand remains on steady dayshift. A Chargehand must be able to do his regular job, which includes shift rotation as a part of his regular job. We don’t mind him being on occasional steady dayshift to enable training, etc., but not on an ongoing basis.
MANAGEMENT: He has been doing computer work for us, and helping on the kiln project. He will return to his shift rotation in two weeks.
UNION: Are you rotating the kiln forklifts as per the Kiln Alternate Shift Schedule?
MANAGEMENT: We don’t always have enough forklift operators to do this.
UNION: Any changes to an Alternate Shift Schedule must have a letter signed off by the Union.
MANAGEMENT: We would like a letter regarding spares on the kiln forklift job during the week. We want to leave the weekend schedule for the kiln forklifts as is.
UNION: We will have to re-post the kiln forklift spares with the new hours.

Cliff C Relief Replacement
UNION: Chris C. is the spare for this Planer yard utility job and should be used while Cliff is off.
MANAGEMENT: We will look into how the relief work is being designated on this job. If truck loading is slow, then Ted and Gary can do Cliff’s job.

Contractors Supplies While at Elko
UNION: We as maintenance/janitorial workers have been asked by on site Contractors to provide fall restraints and other things. What is the Company’s responsibility to supply these Contractors?
MANAGEMENT: We will check on providing consumables, as this could be cheaper for us rather than it being costed to us by the Contractors. Things like fall restraints, extension cords, etc. should be returned to the Company when the Contractors finish using them.
UNION: Would you like us to keep a list?
MANAGEMENT: Yes.

Burn Upcoming at the Waste Dump
MANAGEMENT: We are looking at doing a burn at the waste dump starting November 10 through the 11th. We will be applying for the permit, and will proceed depending on the venting. When we are closer to that date, and we know for sure, we will issue a Plant wide Notice.


MEETING ADJOURNED 4:15 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405
· Next Meeting: November 25, 2010.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What the Union Has Done for Me

From the person serving your coffee to the person signing your paycheque, the union has had their influence and knowledge in it. Every break, benefit and comfort we all enjoy, the union has been there. Some enjoy these luxuries more than others, but the union has paved the way for all to enjoy.

Management has forgotten who has gotten them the luxuries they have become accustomed to on the backs of the workers; the people who serve the coffee, process the lumber, mine the coal. Without us they can’t enjoy the bonuses. All we ask is for them to share the wealth and provide equal benefits through decent wages, good benefits and a good pension. After all, are not we the ones making all the money for management?

When times are good we ask to be a part of the riches, and when times are hard we feel the hardships. We accept the layoffs and work force reductions. Management on the other hand is not held accountable. Corporations give bonuses to C.E.O’s but never hold them accountable for their mismanagements. They have forgotten all about the worker.

A question was asked to me: What has the union ever done for me? How about the money you make, the holidays you enjoy, the breaks, the benefits and the backing of an organization that looks out for the average worker, and protects your rights? The question that should have been asked was: What can I do for the union?

Show your support, get involved.


This Editorial submitted by Dave Tracey, Elko Plant Committee Member

Friday, September 10, 2010

Union Management Meeting - August 26, 2010


Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo, Dave Tracey. Tony Ferreira attended the start of this meeting.
Management Present: Brad J, Ian L, Roland K.

Meeting commenced approx. 3:00 P.M.


OLD BUSINESS

Log Processor – Letter of Understanding
UNION and MANAGEMENT: Company agreed to wording change in L.O.U. with Plant Committee and USW Local 1-405 Business Agent Tony Ferreira.
UNION: Our logyard and loader guys were upset with this processor causing stacking problems. Is this due to the fact he is paid on piece work?
MANAGEMENT: The bush supplies logs 20’6” and shorter and 25’ and the processor is doing better.
UNION: You should communicate this message. Why does the processor work Saturday and Sunday?
MANAGEMENT: This is based on the contractor’s open time. If he wants to work elsewhere, he can work here, for example, 2 weeks at 7 days per week.
UNION: Now what about his first aid coverage?
MANAGEMENT: We have guaranteed him this coverage.
UNION: What is his checking in protocol? How will our guys know this contractor is on site?
MANAGEMENT: We will talk with the log processor contractor and weekend Chargehand, Larry, or other weekend guys whom he will contact using channel 1 to contact first aiders and watchman.
This contractor is not scheduled to work weekends, and we don’t want that to be the norm.

Apprenticeship Update
MANAGEMENT: The Company is not going ahead with apprenticeships at this time. Forecasts show us to be in a better financial position beginning April 2011, and we will see then.
UNION: Last meeting you said it would be in the budget.
MANAGEMENT: A budget is just a plan. It is in our Elko manning request. Dennis R. decides the final budget.
UNION: Where is Scotty in this? What of your commitment to his posted apprenticeship?
MANAGEMENT: He is still in line for this apprenticeship, but in the short term we need to see financial stability before carrying extra bodies.

NEW BUSINESS

Company Update
MANAGEMENT: Pulp is doing well now but forecasted to bottom out in September, and then go up a bit after that. Paper is doing well.
The solid wood side is rough. We expect flat demand for lumber until at least January. Only two of our mills in the east are running. Stud mills are down. Getting rid of chips is a problem in the east.
UNION: Have you looked at European and other markets?
MANAGEMENT: Yes, very aggressively. We used to sell 90% to the U.S. market, but now only 60% is sold there.

Staffing
MANAGEMENT: Steve W. will be going into shipping and kilns. In about 3 weeks Brett O. will go back to supervise his Planer shift. We also will have Brent Laidlaw from Canal Flats to supervise a planer crew. We are looking for another Planer Supervisor, and have postings for this position, both internally and externally.
We hired two new workers for Elko on Monday.
UNION: It is a close line using Relief Supervisors and Chargehand … all out of time not heard of before.
MANAGEMENT: Troy H. will be the new V.P. as Dennis R. moves up.

Why No Saw logs?
MANAGEMENT: We shut off purchasing to bring inventory of saw logs to a level of 50,000 to 60,000 m3 in the yard for year end. We won’t run out of logs and will go back to regular deliveries by October. The mill is looking at running D.Fir/L again around September 20.
UNION: What about the mobile chipper – what is its schedule? And where will it be placed?
MANAGEMENT: The use of this chipper is driven by the Pulp Mill and its chip pile.
The annual Pulp Mill shutdown will still happen in September for 10 days, but they will still need lots of chips and hog fuel.

Dust Control Non-existent
MANAGEMENT: We didn’t put dust control down because of the wet rainy summer. That saved us lots of money not applying the calcium.
UNION: When there is no rain, let us have a commitment for proper manning of the water truck to deal with the very dusty yard conditions.
MANAGEMENT: Usually we man it for 3 shifts, but with absenteeism and vacations and our manning shortage, we let it run short to accommodate vacation requests.
Our mill commits to a guy on the water truck for 3 shifts.

Past Weekend Power Outage
MANAGEMENT: Overall everything went well despite this unexpected power outage on last weekend.

Not Filling Positions
UNION: You are not bothering to fill positions like the Log Sort Machine or Shipping Forklifts when the operator is on holidays. Because of no Sort Machine replacement, we ran out of sorted logs and had to use any logs in a pile, which cost the mill run time.
MANAGEMENT: There was no wood to sort because of the small logs we are handling this time of year. But we had 2 issues with the Sort Machine: 1) the spare isn’t fully trained, and 2) the regular operator can get ahead of the mill. As for shipping, to replace a Shipping Forklift is at the discretion of the Shipper. We do not fill a job when it doesn’t need to be filled.
UNION: Next time there is a worker that should have been trained you can’t tell us you didn’t allow the trainee to come up to snuff in his training. We don’t want to see a trend of training being ignored.
MANAGEMENT: We understand - we could suffer if we don’t have our trainees trained up.

Prime Sort Jobs
UNION: We are getting younger workers with seniority who want the mill schedule asking why junior workers are doing those jobs, especially at the Prime Sort.
MANAGEMENT: It was because of the lack of trained manning during the summer. We will get these senior guys there after the September long weekend. They will be paid the higher rate if a junior worker was in that job.

Q.C. Relief Supervisor
UNION: Jeremy S. did the run sheets for the Planer and got 1.5 hours. O.T. but since he wasn’t doing bargaining unit work, he is charged one day as a Relief Supervisor for that supervisory work. Why not post for a Grade Checker “as needed” who can do this work.
MANAGEMENT: If it is going to be supervisory work, the he must be exonerated.
UNION: Even Q.C. at the mill will have to be charged days as Relief Supervisor.

Misc.
Weekend Chipper – have their own first aid coverage.
Bid Sheets – for security sign up sheets should be held by foremen.
Electrical Contractor – Neil J. will be here one day this weekend and maybe one day next week. Then the new electrician starts September 8, Wed. to Sat. 4-10’s and no need for electrical contractor.
Pico Retired Today – Congratulations to Pico from Management and Workers here at Elko!


MEETING ADJOURNED 5:00 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405
---Next Meeting: September 23, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

USW & CONIFER HAVE TENTATIVE DEAL

After a period of time away from the bargaining table, the USW BC Interior Bargaining Committee (USW) and the Council on Northern Interior Forest Employment Relations (CONIFER) resumed talks last week and have today, concluded a tentative agreement.

The USW maintained our goal of bringing the Interior Pattern Agreement to their members in Northern BC. This Agreement contains all the gains made in prior bargaining, without the “Canfor Investment Model”.

While details of the agreement won’t be released until the BC Interior Bargaining Committee has had an opportunity to first discuss the tentative agreement with their northern interior members, a quick overview of the tentative agreement reveals a 4-year agreement that greatly enhances job security, improved Health and Welfare benefits, the overdue stabilization of the Forest Industry LTD Plan, and union security provisions that significantly improve contract language surrounding the permanent and/or partial closure of lumber manufacturing operations.

In addition to 2% wage increases in the 3rd and 4th years, a trades rate adjustment reflects the needs of the Union and Industry. A profit pay plan may provide additional compensation as the industry recovers.

The Bargaining Committee is pleased with the outcome, and is recommending the membership ratify this tentative agreement.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #36 - August 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Union Management Meeting - July 29, 2010



Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo.
Management Present: Brad J, Dave P, Roland K.

Meeting commenced approx. 2:30 P.M.


OLD BUSINESS

Welder for Conveyor Project
MANAGEMENT: We haven’t found a contract welder yet. We think Tony could do the job if we could free him up.
UNION: Why not train another spare oiler?
MANAGEMENT: We will post the spare oiler job on Tuesday.

Powder in Gloves
MANAGEMENT: We are now supplying “yellow” gloves that have no powder. They seem to be constructed weaker than the other ones. The supplier of the gloves with powder is going directly to the factory to find out what that powder substance is.

Water Coolers Exchange
MANAGEMENT: Culligan is doing a complete plant wide exchange of water coolers. This will be done every 3 months. They say this is more efficient than cleaning them one at a time.

Contractors on Site
UNION: What about company policy of contractors coming on site – don’t they have to sign in?
MANAGEMENT: Yes, they must sign in at the office, but not sure what the procedure is if they arrive before the office opens. We should have some procedure; possibly check in with a shift supervisor.

NEW BUSINESS

Company Update isn’t Reliable
UNION: A day after our last meeting, when you said we would continue to operate despite low log inventories, you shut down Elko. There is a lack of integrity in your Elko operating forecasts.
MANAGEMENT: We try to give a plan to the best of our ability. It was the red chips that changed our run plan. We met with you on Thursday, but got a phone call on Friday from the pulp mill that they don’t want anymore red chips, and our mill had mostly D.Fir/L to run. That’s why we pulled the plug.

Company Update
MANAGEMENT: As of now, we have 45,000 m3 of white wood. We will end up with one more week of D.Fir/L. We have had a decent 3rd quarter, as you can see in our financial reports just released. We are producing “rig mat” from 2x8 F/L in Elko.
UNION: Will that affect the Planer rough inventory?
MANAGEMENT: We are sitting on 13 to 14 MFBM of rough dry, so it should balance out. We will know more this weekend after month end inventory. (Min. we like is 7 to 8 MFBM in rough dry lumber.)

Safety Concerns on Sawmill “A” Crew
UNION: A log chaser on this crew who was under-trained went into a position on his job that was very unsafe. The foreman did not go to the problem area despite radio chatter about this issue.
MANAGEMENT: We understand that the new radio with the ear plug wasn’t in proper position on his hard hat, so he didn’t hear the radio chatter.
UNION: As more guys are encouraged to learn jobs by osmosis or to say they know how to do a job, this creates serious holes in training our workers. There needs to be more proper training done, for safety’s sake.
MANAGEMENT: We agree there needs to be more training. Additionally, the supervisors are to observe and attend problems, and talk to the workers. We will discuss this with them.

Pulp Mill Receives Safety Awards While We Do Not
MANAGEMENT: We remain under budget constraints, so we have no Safety Award Program.

Counselling Notes without Union Representation
UNION: Any discipline whatsoever requires you have a Union Representative present, including counselling.
MANAGEMENT: Counselling is not discipline. We agree on discipline to have a Job Steward present.
UNION: But you will use counselling in arbitrations, so it is discipline.
MANAGEMENT: No, we can talk to our employees anytime about work performance.
UNION: We will get back to you on this matter.
MANAGEMENT: And we will change “Counselling” to “Letter of Discussion.”

Training Not Timely
UNION: Regarding training and job postings – we have two recent examples of how the committee has been flexible in training schedules but it has and could cost hours in a reduction in forces for trainees who didn't get trained as per the agreement. We are talking about the Spare Watchman, and the Spare Edger jobs.
MANAGEMENT: We try to train properly, but there are times when training doesn’t happen as per the agreement.
UNION: We realize we put pressure on you to fill positions, but the problem is that jobs get filled ONLY ON PAPER.
MANAGEMENT: We need to say no to training during peak vacation periods.
UNION: When won’t there be peak periods? With Spring break, Summer vacation time, Fall hunting season, and Winter Christmas, it looks like only January and February are available for training.
-Training by osmosis seems to carry on. You should carry extra manpower for the purpose of training.
MANAGEMENT: We cannot carry extra manpower. Company bosses won’t allow it.
UNION: Well it seems those bosses also preach safety. How can you train workers for safety then don’t have enough manpower?
MANAGEMENT: We will make sure safety is a priority.
UNION: Let’s have Rick review the manning list, job postings, and training in consultation with you guys.

Contractor Worked During Mill Shutdown
UNION: The Log Processor Contractor worked while Elko was shut down, and this is against our agreement to have a non-union contractor working in our yard while we are laid off. We agreed to help the Company save some money using this Contractor instead of an immediate upgrade to the log deck. Then you had him work instead of us.
MANAGEMENT: This is a new situation. We needed him to produce shorts which are 20% of our cut. We failed in not advising the Committee. Eventually we will be getting a new log deck, just not in the near future.
UNION: This agreement of having a non-union Log Processor on site started in 2007. It’s about time we reviewed your plans about this machine and the new log deck in a meeting with Roland and our Local Union officials. Let us set that meeting up for the end of August.

Electrical Contractor on Site
UNION: This electrical contractor on site with his “helper” equals the contractor and his apprentice. This is a slap in the face to us when we have our own posted apprentice going without training!
MANAGEMENT: We are hiring another hourly electrician, and we are pushing for our apprentice to be trained. We are meeting tomorrow on our manning budget
UNION: We have a real problem with contractors having their own workers do “grunt” work. That is our work. A few years ago when Fabrite did the sawmill refit, we had our guys do the labour work under their instruction.
MANAGEMENT: We had more of our workers free at that time. Currently most of our workers are being used in the mill. But we can stop this helper tonight – he is not our apprentice.
UNION: Yes, put a stop to the helper working and use one of our guys if available.
-We also see contractors at the kiln doing welding…who is doing their fire watch?
MANAGEMENT: Since it is inside the kiln, in a non-combustible area, the contractor is doing his own fire watch.
UNION: There should never be any of our workers sitting at home when there is this type of labour work (“grunt” work) available.

Who Is Weekend Clean-Up Chargehand at the Planer?
MANAGEMENT: mainly Jeremy S. and part time, Rick B.

Spare at the Kilns
UNION: Who is spare at the kilns? We are getting complaints about workers who are in jobs that they have no right to them.
MANAGEMENT: Aubrey (planer infeed fork operator) is spare at the kilns, and Enzo (kiln fork operator) is spare at the planer infeed.
UNION: How do you have each fill the others spare, except by not moving either of them? (lol)
MANAGEMENT: This hasn’t happened. We don’t fill in at the kilns many times.

Overtime Policy When Letourneau Is Down
UNION and MANAGEMENT: The Letourneau and Loader both unload trucks. When overtime is required to unload trucks, and the Letourneau is down, it is the Letourneau operator job to unload the trucks.
UNION: Additionally, the dayshift log loader duties need to be clearly defined.

Grade Checker – Planer QC Job
MANAGEMENT: We don’t believe simply grade checking is the way to go at the planer. We need an individual on a part-time basis who has skills in operating the planer computers, lumber grade instruction, directing manpower, etc.
UNION: We know you have an individual in mind that fulfills these requirements, but our question is, since he wasn’t trained to begin with, how did he get that training, and why can’t others, in line with seniority be afforded that same training? We think if you post this job as a Grade Checker with extra requirements, on a “as needed basis,” and train the person properly, you will get a good individual in that position.
MANAGEMENT: We will have this position categorized as a Relief Supervisor, and choose our candidate as such.
UNION: Then the question must be asked, who is this Planer Q.C. Relief Supervisor filling in for – which supervisor? You do what you have to; we will leave it at that for now.


MEETING ADJOURNED 4:40 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Union Management Meeting - June 17, 2010


Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo, Dave Tracey.
Management Present: Ian L, Brad J, Dave P, Roland K.
Meeting commenced at 2:20 P.M.


OLD BUSINESS


Welder for Conveyor Project
MANAGEMENT: Troy is looking for a contract welder for this project, but no luck. This project is to do 2 to 3 days work on all the conveyors in the mill (#1070, through to #1077, and #2103, 3097, etc.)
UNION: Why not use Tony or Jay?
MANAGEMENT: We can’t free up oilers without loosing ground in that department.

Millwright/Welder Jobs
UNION: Bringing in even that welder and other trades, and hearing rumours of electrical contractor is a concern to us. We were OK with the term mechanic you brought into the garage, but we are hesitant to sign L.O.U. for trade after trade.
MANAGEMENT: The term guy there was for summer vacation relief.
UNION: But we understood it was because Stan was on light duty and Pico was off work.
MANAGEMENT: Yes, that is the reason but an extra benefit is time off for guys at the shop.
-Work on our conveyor project, by hiring contract welder, is simply to get us ahead.
-We would put up a posting for a welders helper.
UNION: We will not sign any L.O.U. for electricians while we have our posted apprentice electrician waiting on the sidelines not being trained.
MANAGEMENT: We are not asking for electricians but we do have one millwright/welder committed in the next month or so, and we will interview a couple more.
MANAGEMENT: Regarding apprenticeships, we are working on the budget for October, and have asked for apprenticeship funding for electrician, circular saw filer, millwright, and planer technician.
-We know there is a shortage of trades people, with the oil patch going back, and the mines hiring.
-On the average, the tradesmen who stay with us the longest are those we train in house.
-If Dennis R. approves our plan for apprenticeships, we should have an answer where we are going with apprenticeships by mid-August.

Kiln Maintenance Job
MANAGEMENT: The kiln maintenance work will go back to Troy and his guys. It is better off to have an extra person in his department to work ½ time at the kiln, then that worker can use the other ½ time in mill maintenance.

Road Grader
MANAGEMENT: Our road grader is up and running and Daryl is the operator. When you need the road grader, go through your supervisor who will contact Daryl’s supervisor to give him work direction.

NEW BUSINESS

Company Operational Plans
MANAGEMENT: Housing starts in the U.S. has dropped off with no bounce back expected until the fall. Lumber prices are softening.
UNION: What about the lack of log supply in our logyard?
MANAGEMENT: The log supply is tight because wet weather has hurt us. We have about 12,000 cu. metres in red and white wood. We should have enough fibre to run with our 8 day supply. In the past we ran with a 5 day supply.
(THIS WAS ON THURSDAY JUNE 17, 2010 BUT ON FRIDAY JUNE 18, 2010, THE COMPANY MADE AN ABOUT FACE AND SHUT DOWN THE ELKO OPERATION FOR THE FOLLOWING FIVE WORKING DAYS.)

Log Processor
UNION: We never did get this Letter of Understanding for the Processor renewed and signed.
-The short rows stacked by this contractor are causing our guys problems who have to fix this.
MANAGEMENT: We started to put mixed loads in his volume. The demand for pulp causes all loads to be contaminated with shorts. Some stands are 70% pulp. The need for this processor is on demand. He deals with 10ft to 20ft logs.
UNION: While our guys aren’t happy because it’s affecting operation of the debarkers, the decks, and the loaders.
MANAGEMENT: Maybe we can cycle logs faster. The Letourneau is down which is part of the problem. We should have the L.O.U. put together by the end of June.

Job Training Program - Renegotiation
MANAGEMENT: We are working on a draft document to present to the union.
UNION: We have a 2005 document we are looking at for our basis.
MANAGEMENT: The biggest change we want in the new program is that the spare is not for the guys, the spare is needed for the company.

Document Training of New Hires
UNION: Recently, a worker who was counselled on work performance simply said he was trained in all aspects of his job, but in fact it turned out he wasn’t trained in all aspects. We should get back to recording what jobs each person has actually completed training on, not just go by word of mouth.
MANAGEMENT: We are going to a record keeping system called “Eclipse.” It is easy to use and soon supervisors can log on to record training information, and other supervisors can access these records to see who has been trained on what.

Put Training Process for New Hires In Writing
UNION: It is understood that for a period of time, we usurp seniority for training. If in a manpower pinch, you shouldn’t be using new hire trainees to fill in full time jobs, but call out the senior competent worker. We should get the standard procedure for training new hires in a L.O.U.
MANAGEMENT: Sometimes training does get broken up, but it is 6 weeks guaranteed training to new hires. We will not use new hires to fill in on full time jobs without senior workers called out.
MANAGEMENT: We will also talk to the guys in the mill about keeping radio chatter down and for business use only.

Lunchroom Television Sets
MANAGEMENT: These TV’s serve both entertainment purposes and Company purposes. We will be getting DVD players for each TV set as well.

Duty to Accommodate
MANAGEMENT and UNION: Anymore than one “rotation” will need to have the Ability Management Committee set in place the accommodation.
Members of the Ability Management Committee are for the Company: Rob M, Ian L, Brad J, Dave P. and for the Union: Al Liboiron, Bryan Gaudet, and Rick Boekestyn.

Canada Day Stat can be moved
This item became redundant since the Company shut operations during that week.

Planer Dry Rough Inventory
MANAGEMENT: We had one of the best F/L runs in a while, so inventories for planing are good, standing at about 10 to 11 MFBM.

Manning for Summer Vacation Relief
MANAGEMENT: We are hiring 3 to 5 new regular workers, and going to speed up the hiring process. Currently it takes 3 or 4 weeks from application to hiring.
MANAGEMENT: For the summer we plan to put casuals at the planer, and take jr. experienced workers to the mill for vacation relief. Training will be suspended during the summer because of manpower.
UNION: What about IVES Forklift training? The back log is building – looking at six workers who need this training. You might consider using a Friday when the mill is down to clear this.

Training by Osmosis
UNION: Do you record all training on your books? Training outside of the agreed Job Training Program is training by osmosis. Is this osmosis training recorded on your books, or does the Company suddenly have trained personnel on hand, at no recorded cost to the Company.
MANAGEMENT: Workers who are considered trained must be able to show competency and have signed off on the Job Safety Breakdown. Most training is recorded as such, but when workers in jobs like clean-up train themselves, some of that is not recorded as training.

Plastic in Chips
MANAGEMENT: We are getting plastics in our chip supply again. We want workers to keep plastics away from the chip flow, and put used plastics into the garbage.

Powder in Gloves
MANAGEMENT: Our glove supplier was here and informed us they will seek an independent lab to investigate what this powder is.

Canal Flats Relief Supervisors not Counted on Dayshift
MANAGEMENT: In Canal Flats when they have a Relief Supervisor running the dayshift crew, those days are not counted because there is other supervisory staff, such as a Superintendent, on hand. For dayshift they consider their Relief Supervisors to be Chargehands, and we will institute that policy here in Elko as well.
UNION: No you won’t. A chargehand is clearly defined in the Collective Agreement, and he must be performing is own union job while being able to give other employees work direction. That isn’t the case with a Relief Supervisor, since he is in the foreman’s office only doing foreman’s work, and not union work. There is something wrong in Canal Flats with how they are using dayshift Relief Supervisors.

MEETING ADJOURNED 4:45 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405

Monday, July 12, 2010

INTERIOR BARGAINING REMAINS IDLE AS IFLRA DITHERS ON SCHEDULING TALKS

The IFLRA is ignoring enquires from USW BC Interior Bargaining Committee to schedule further talks. Bargaining broke off in mid-May with the IFLRA needing to go back to their board of directors for more direction. Since then, there has been attempts by the USW Committee to set more negotiation dates but the IFLRA has not acknowledged them.

During May bargaining sessions, the IFLRA missed the mark on many USW pattern items and as a result of this missed opportunity, the USW Committee expressed frustration and questioned the IFLRA about their ability to conclude a collective agreement. And after a month of IFLRA silence, the USW now wonders if there may be some disorganization within association that might be the cause of this bargaining calendar hush.

It should be remembered that the IFLRA stomped off to the BC Labour Relations Board last January while wringing their hands with a bad-faith bargaining claim against the USW for what they interpreted as a refusal to schedule bargaining with them—a claim that was refuted by the Board.

Despite the silence from the IFLRA and the recessionary times that our industry is facing in North America, the USW BC Interior Bargaining Committee intends to bargain a progressive collective agreement in the BC Interior and are ready and willing to continue talks with the IFLRA at the location of their choice.

At this time, a date and location for further talks have not yet been scheduled.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #35 - July 9, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer 2010 Elko Echo Newsletter


click on each page to view

click on each page to view

click on each page to view

Friday, May 14, 2010

Union Management Meeting - May 6, 2010


Union Committee Present: Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Dave Tracey.
Management Present: Ian L, Brad J, Roland K.
Meeting commenced at 2:00 P.M.


OLD BUSINESS


Seniority List to Include New Hires
UNION: As asked for in our previous meeting, we want a “company” seniority list available for all to see to show the new hires start dates. It should be posted it in both sawmill and planer offices.
MANAGEMENT: Yes we will post this list.

Moulded Ear Plugs
MANAGEMENT: Rob M., our Safety Coordinator, is working on a policy for this to include Canal Flats Division. There will be a split of the cost for these ear plugs, similar to what we do with work boots. Rob is suggesting the company will pay for 50 percent of the ear plugs. You will have to pay first, just like with boots, and then submit the bill to your supervisor.

Check Grader
MANAGEMENT: At Canal Flats the goal is to eliminate the check grader by this summer. We will be using our “Quality by Design” program which includes looking at lumber at the C.L.T. work station.

Kiln Maintenance Job Needs to be Posted
MANAGEMENT: The work to be done here is not full time, but it is intermittent.
UNION: Then you should post it as a temporary position “as required.”
MANAGEMENT: We will lay out a list of duties.
UNION: We want a decision on posting this job by next week.

Road Grader
MANAGEMENT: Our “new” road grader should be running again as soon as we get the transmission fixed. We are using the contract grader temporarily.


NEW BUSINESS

Mill / Company Update and Operational Plans
MANAGEMENT: “So far so good.” We plan to operate through the year, but markets are dropping. We balance the operation of our sawmills with our pulp mill and that keeps us efficient.
UNION: In the process of next years budgeting, how many apprentices have you budgeted for?
MANAGEMENT: We plan to carry on with the electrician apprentice, and post for a circular saw filer, and maybe a millwright. Keep in mind that cost containment is still an issue for our company.
UNION: Next time don’t wait so long for the apprenticeship testing.

Man Power after Galloway Start-up
MANAGEMENT: We have only lost one worker to Galloway for sure.
UNION: How is our manning in general?
MANAGEMENT: For full time workers we are okay. We will have to bring some casuals in for basic training at the planer for summer work. Then our experienced junior workers can be utilized at the sawmill to allow for vacation relief.
- The new letter for casual workers to sign has been approved and signed by both parties.

Foreman to be Hired, Who?
MANAGEMENT: We have one more interview to do. The new foreman could be on the job in a week or 4 to 5 weeks depending on the successful candidate and his availability.

Millwright Vacancies and Welder Job
MANAGEMENT: We have interviewed 2 people for the millwright position.
-The conveyor job we want done will require an experienced welder who can work on his own, so we will contract this out because two of our junior welders on site are not experienced and cannot work on this temporary project without direction. We will post for a welder helper based on competency.

Spare and Permanent Job Postings Need to Be Filled
MANAGEMENT and UNION: Agree that vacancies need to be filled. Bryan Gaudet will look more closely at the vacant positions and discuss sawmill vacancies with sawmill supervisor, Mike M.
MANAGEMENT: Time is running short on training since we become very short handed during peak summer vacation time.

Powder inside New Gloves
MANAGEMENT: The supplier is doing some research to determine the nature of this powder. We have kept a couple of pair set aside for him to see this powder that gets on your hands by wearing the new gloves.
UNION: You can understand our concern about this powder. These gloves are manufactured in China, and that country’s reputation for use of toxic chemicals is not good.


Letters of Reference
MANAGEMENT: We do not provide letters of reference. Employees can name their supervisor in their resume, but it is up to the prospective employer to call us. When called, we offer no opinion, and no personal points of view, and give only factual answers with respect to attendance and capabilities.

Grading With Only Two Lumber Graders
UNION: This seems to be more frequent, and isn’t acceptable to the lumber graders. You should schedule for 3 guys to grade.
MANAGEMENT: We have no problem to do that if absences are scheduled for the week. But a day here or a day there, we will use 2 graders. Overtime is to be avoided except for night shift, when we will try to have 3 graders, even if by paying overtime.

Paying Proper Rates of Pay for Every Job
UNION: We have information that on occasion some workers get paid a higher rate of pay than the job rate is for the job they are doing. That is discriminatory, and it must stop. Not all workers have access to the higher rate of pay, since sometimes the rate of pay becomes the whim of the foreman. What is your policy on this?
MANAGEMENT: (Ian L.) If there is a specific circumstance, bring it to me, and I will investigate and deal with it. If a worker by rights should be doing a higher paying job, but we need him to do a lower paying job, it is our policy to pay the higher rate he/she is entitled to earn.
[NOTE: Tembec Corporate Office retains an outside firm, ClearView Strategic Partners Inc., to investigate whistle blower complaints on mis-use of company funds. Contact your job steward or senior management for details.]

Notice on Overtime Agreement and on Job Training Program
UNION: We put you on notice that we want to negotiate an Overtime Agreement.
MANAGEMENT: We will look at it, but don’t think it is necessary.
UNION: We put you on notice that we want to re-negotiate the Job Training Program to get rid of the tie-in between the spare job and the permanent job among other things.
MANAGEMENT: We agree, but for now, we must use the Job Training Program that is in effect.

Lunchrooms Update
UNION and MANAGEMENT: Jeff will get a list to Ian L. for some of the stuff on order. TV’s for both Planer and Mill lunchrooms have been bought. We have an annual $3000 in funds to maintain and improve our lunchrooms.
-Planer lunchroom: order a new microwave.
-Planerman’s room: order a small fridge.
-Planer office: buy another microwave.
-Log Yard lunchroom: need a fridge.
-Mill lunchroom: need two new microwaves.
-Rent Red Carpet coffeemakers for the lunchrooms (they are very low monthly cost.)


Hauling Hog
MANAGEMENT: We will have FRM drivers on site hauling hog and shavings for up to 90 days. As for stock piling hog, the piles will have to be according to plan with spaces in between piles, and piles reaching only limited heights.

Scales and Misc.
MANAGEMENT: Alberta officials are looking at a combined standard between BC and Alberta to scale the Alberta wood we are getting.
-Logging truck deliveries will commence next Monday, from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.
-We have 1100 cubic metres of decked wood coming in.
-The mill will be running “redwood” around May 25 for about 2 weeks. This shouldn’t pose a problem for planer rough inventory since we have 13 million FBM inventory to be planed.
-We ran some pulp wood to make 400 new skids for the lumber yard and it went really well. We plan to do another run in the near future to make another 400 skids.


MEETING ADJOURNED 4:00 P.M.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405


· Next Meeting: not discussed.


Information of interest –

Job Stewards School will be held in Cranbrook on the weekend of May 29 and 30, 2010.
“New Job Stewards and all Committee members are asked to attend.”

Sunday, May 9, 2010

INTERIOR BARGAINING BRIEFLY RESUMES WITH IFLRA IN KELOWNA

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee commenced talks in Kelowna with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA).

Sadly, even though the USW is fully prepared to address the significant bargaining issues that remain the subject of previous talks, the IFLRA is not willing to engage the union in discussions on their framework proposal.

Surprisingly, the IFLRA is now ignoring the long-standing and established process of addressing a framework to define the outstanding bargaining issues. The intent of the framework is to ensure that all the bargaining issues are addressed in the appropriate manner and for this reason, the BC Interior Bargaining Committee will postpone talks until later this month in order to allow the IFLRA enough time to formulate their position.

Bargaining with the IFLRA is scheduled to continue in Kelowna later in May.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #33 - May 5, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tembec Provides Occupational Vision Plan

As of March 2010, Tembec now belongs to the BC Association of Optometrist Occupational Vision Plan (OVP). This plan is an important benefit Tembec provides to you.

Tembec and the Optometrists will help you get safety eye protection you need. They will help you find the best eyewear for your line of work. OVP eye doctors can correctly fit protective eyewear to give you long term comfort and reliability. They provide leading eye-safety wear that meets Worksafe BC and CSA requirements.

3 easy Steps to Eye Safety

Request an OVP authorisation form your supervisor. Tembec will cover the costs as per the approved agreement.

1. In Elko have your form signed by Dave P. or Brad J. In Canal Flats have your form signed by Conrad R. or Jeff M.
2. Choose an optometrist from list below.
3. Make and appointment. If you already have a eyewear prescription bring it along.

Note: Tembec does not pay for your eye examination. (Currently the eye exam cost is around $80.)

The Forms are now here to enable all employees who wear prescription eyewear to access this OVP service.

Our Safety Coordinator, Rob M. has reviewed the selection available at Cranbrook Vision care and there are 23 frames available to choose from. They look like they are fairly modern design. There is a wrap around model available. Basically this is a safety glass with an insert that slips behind the safety glass and tucks in place .You would then have to look through two layers of safety glass which may be and issue.

A word of caution please be professional when you have contact with Optometrist companies they have no control over the selection but are a liaisons with the dispenser only out of Vancouver. They support the Occupational Vision Program but have no control over the program. Complaints about selection will be addressed by the company not them. Thankyou for this consideration.

We have three Optometrist outlets that support the program in the East Kootenay:

In Cranbrook - Drs. Robertson, Bednarczyk, & D. Demarchi, 1517 Baker St. (Tel. 250-426-4501)

In Kimberley - Dr. Chatten, 75 Deer Park Ave. (Tel. 250-427-2020)

In Fernie - Drs. Mann, Groeneweg & Vinge, 642 2ND Ave. (Tel. 250-423-4467)

"If you have any questions, contact your supervisor."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Union Management Meeting - March 31, 2010



Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo, Dave Tracey, Rick Boekestyn, Rueben Blackwater.
Management Present: Ian L, Brad J, Dave P, Roland K.

Meeting commenced at 2:30 P.M.

· Announcement of Plant Committee changes for 2010 to 2012 term and introduction of Reuben Blackwater as a new Plant Committee member.
· Thank you to everyone at the Elko site for raising over $3000 for the Rawson family.

OLD BUSINESS

Seniority List to Include New Hires
UNION: We want a “company” seniority list available for all to see to show the new hires start dates.
MANAGEMENT: OK. This seniority list will go to the supervisors and we can post it in both sawmill and planer offices.
UNION: The Local wants an updated list too, so we can work on our Union Seniority List.
MANAGEMENT: Hopefully we will have our seniority list out by the end of this week.

Road Grader
MANAGEMENT: It is here, and it’s a pretty big machine. We are checking it out mechanically.
Brad will make arrangements for our road grader contractor to commence training our guys.
UNION: Make sure your expectations of operating this machine are made clear to both the permanent and spare operators.
MANAGEMENT: Yes, except for snow or wet conditions, we expect a couple days on the grader per week “on average” is our plan.

NEW BUSINESS

Mill / Company Update and Operational Plans
MANAGEMENT: We have no change in our operations. We are running through the year and foresee no shutdowns. Should there be any shortage of rough inventory, we could see late July-early August with a day or so of planer downtime.
UNION: Even with the rising Canadian dollar, does that weaken our position?
MANAGEMENT: That is countered with a lack of volume on the market and high demand keeping our prices up.
UNION: We understand that the “Rig mat” we produce increases our mill profit. What about the mill stacker improvements to handle this product?
MANAGEMENT: Good idea.
UNION: Have you given any further thoughts to scheduled shutdowns during the high vacation periods?
MANAGEMENT: We have had limited discussions. We will need numbers to convince the company heads, since this will be solely a financial decision.

Foreman for Planer “A”
UNION: Continuous use of a relief supervisor on this shift is causing manning problems at the planer, especially among lumber graders. Although last year you let all the planer supervisors go, running a crew with relief supervisors doesn’t mean you eliminated the job.
MANAGEMENT: We have the planer foreman position up right now.
UNION: The use of relief supervisors at the planer only creates shortages in available lumber graders, since that’s the job you expect relief supervisors to have held.

Moulded Earplugs
UNION: We request you come forward with a policy to provide moulded earplugs to your workers.
MANAGEMENT: We will run it by Mel Jones (Canal’s G.M.), do an analysis, and get back to you.

Cabling Logs for increased inventory
MANAGEMENT: No we don’t cable logs anymore, and have got rid of the cables.
We keep low inventory to manage cash. Our target log inventory was 130,000 cubic meters, but is now 109,000 at peak inventory.
Fibre will be stock piled in the bush so we don’t have to pay fees on it, such as stumpage.
UNION: Is there no increase in log inventory in case of bush closures due to a hot summer?
MANAGEMENT: No there will be no inventory increase; it is a risk we have to manage.
MANAGEMENT: The scales will be going down for only 3 weeks, and the Letourneau is down on April 5 for 3 weeks.

Canal Flats has a Checker Grader – Elko doesn’t, Why?
MANAGEMENT: We understand they are moving away from using a Check Grader, but we will find out.
UNION: If the answer is Canal will use a Check Grader, will you post for one in Elko?
MANAGEMENT: We would have a discussion on it, but we still say the Check Grader is going away.MANAGEMENT: Dave P. is putting into place a program called “Quality by Design.” Quality checks and reports will be made at various stations, at the CLT, the Planer paper wrap, etc., to assure customers we are paying attention to quality.

Where was Consultation with Planer Workers on the New Chairs and Tables
MANAGEMENT: People could have had their say when this topic first came up.
UNION: No, people were not consulted and many at the Planer don’t like the soft covered benches and big tables taken away. The small tables leave little table area where we can keep our lunches off the floor.
MANAGEMENT: We understand most guys like the new tables and chairs.
UNION: To address keeping items off the floor, why not install wall hooks to hang stuff on.
MANAGEMENT: There is a fund to improve lunchrooms, etc which we can spend, but we should have one representative off of each crew to get employees suggestions as to what is needed, or wanted.
UNION: Now that lunchrooms are improved, how about the washrooms?
MANAGEMENT: Agreed. We are looking at it.
UNION: The suggestion for the women’s washroom at the Planer is two stalls, since sometimes all the women end up working on the same shift.

Student Letter
MANAGEMENT: Students start as casual workers sign this letter then will be required to sign it annually and provide proof of their student status.
UNION: Who will be responsible to administer this?
MANAGEMENT: Brad J. hires the casual workers. We want to implement this because of a couple of people were missed, and got their 30 days within 90 (became regular workers.) Doug Wood used to be with Brad on the Hiring Committee.
UNION: Rick and Jeff are also on that committee.
UNION: We will have to check with the Local Officers about signing authority on this letter.

Watchmen to Have Level One First Aid
MANAGEMENT: We want Elko Watchmen to have Level One First Aid.
UNION: We understand. We have always been above regulatory requirements in First Aid. But Level One only covers 5 or less workers, within a 20 minute drive to a hospital. What about when the chip trucks are on site on the weekend?
MANAGEMENT: If that’s a problem, we will have them wait at the gate, and enter one at a time.
UNION: What if a Watchman fails this course?
MANAGEMENT: You can’t fail this course. If there is an area that is not understood, then the worker goes over it again and again.
MANAGEMENT: We will talk to Rob MacPhee to make arrangements for the Level One course.

When will Planer Tilt Hoist be Fully Automated
MANAGEMENT: In consultation with other electricians and reviewing a similar set up at another mill, we feel it will be a couple of months or so. We will provide you with a definite date later.
UNION: In that case you should produce another letter advising of tech change, since your original letter was some time ago, and may be stale. Some workers may want the tech change buy-out.
MANAGEMENT: We will send out a letter to restate our intentions with the tilt hoist.
UNION: Speaking of tech change, what about installing the Auto-Grader, where is that project?
MANAGEMENT: There have been no discussions on this.
UNION: What about the upgrade of the bucksaw on the slasher deck?
MANAGEMENT: We are looking at it. But the tilt hoist is #1. Anything less than 6 months payback won’t be considered at this time.
UNION: How about the old kilns? The drying time there is supposed to be 58 hours, but some charges take up to 105 hours is how bad those kilns are.
MANAGEMENT: Kilns will be replaced in 3 years is the plan.

Kiln Maintenance Job Needs to be Posted
UNION: Dell R. used to do this job, now you have Ron O. doing it. This job should be posted.
MANAGEMENT: All people in this area have been doing a different job. Now we want more maintenance done, such as motor changes, cart work, door fixes, etc.
UNION: If there is a job there, we want it defined and posted.
MANAGEMENT: If we post it, we might get a Millwright or Planerman there.
UNION: Then you can fill in for the Planerman with Ron O.
MANAGEMENT: We will figure out some kind of posting for the work required.
UNION: With Dennis leaving, what are you doing to replace his Millwright position?
MANAGEMENT: We have posted for 2 Millwrights, and they are now short listed. Interviews will be coming up soon.

Bumping to Jobs on Cross Shift
UNION: This matter has been discussed to ensure everyone on the Plant Committee and Management understands that workers who do not hold a posted job should be given preference to higher rate of pay jobs (if those jobs are not being done by the spare or the regular posted operator.)

Smoke Problem from Burn Pile
MANAGEMENT: We were stocking pulp wood there for 1½ years, and we came to the point of running out of room. A guy came to grind this fibre for the hog burner, but the hog burner went down, and it didn’t need the hog. so we got stuck with a big pile, containing mixture of dry wood, wet wood, and even frozen wood and ice.
After the problems we experienced, we burned this past weekend and dampened it down on Sunday.
We won’t take promises from the Pulp Mill anymore on them taking our hog pile. Once it starts to build up, we will burn it.

Spare Jobs and Training Program
MANAGEMENT: Canal Flats is joining us in looking at the Job Training Program.
UNION: The main problem is tying the spare job to the permanent job. This must be eliminated.
MANAGEMENT: We understand. We don’t want a program to do training for no reason and want a program that will include “ease of managing.”
Roland will put something together for everyone to see and comment on.

Barko Crane
UNION: You should be specific in instructions to the operators of this machine to be gentle with it, and let them know its limitations.
MANAGEMENT: Agreed. We should have key people in there training, and have the new operators sit down with the mechanics to show what this machine does and is capable of.

Water Truck Postings (and Combo)
MANAGEMENT: We will be posting 2 temporary water truck positions.
But we don’t need 3 scalers all the time, just 2 scalers and a little more.
We will bring something to the Committee to see regarding creating a Combo job between the extra
scaling that needs to be done and running the water truck. We have an interested candidate.

Planer Crew Dinners
MANAGEMENT: Crew dinners at the Planer will not be held anymore as per instructions from Rounseville.
UNION: Will you ever get the Safety Reward Program back on the agenda?
MANAGEMENT: We don’t know. There is a safety seminar in Toronto this fall, and we will see what Lopez puts forward.

Kootenay ICE Tickets
MANAGEMENT: We will not do payroll deductions for these tickets. As things improve in the future, we may get back to doing some things like this, but not back to everything.

MEETING ADJOURNED 5:00 P.M.

Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405



Information of interest –
  • Annual Delegated Meeting for Local 1-405 will be held in Cranbrook on April 17, 2010. Elko has six delegates attending: Mike Calestagne, Rick Boekestyn, Bryan Gaudet, Jeramey Marsh, Al Liboiron, and Dave Tracey.
    - “Union members who are not delegates are welcome to attend.”
  • Job Stewards School will be held in Cranbrook on the weekend of May 29 and 30, 2010.
    - “New Job Stewards and Committee members are asked to attend.”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

BC INTERIOR BARGAINING COMMITTEE PRESSES IFLRA ON USW PATTERN

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee met with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Associations (IFLRA) again in Kelowna.

While the USW Committee is pressing the IFLRA on adopting the pattern determined in previous industry bargaining in the Northern Interior, the IFLRA is turning their backs on the union’s effort to present a level playing field agreement that will provide fair wages and working conditions. It is clear to the BC Interior Bargaining Committee that the IFLRA is in no hurry to conclude a reasonable and progressive Southern Interior Master Agreement.

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee believes the forest industry will turn around and is seeking a contract that gives our members the ability to share in that recovery.

Bargaining with the IFLRA is scheduled to continue in Kelowna next month.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #32 - March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ELKO MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Meeting to Elect

When: Sunday, March 21, 2010
Time: 11:00 A.M.
Where: IN CRANBROOK at the USW Boardroom located at #201, 105 - 9th Ave.South

PURPOSE of meeting -
1. Nomination and ELECTION of the Plant Committee
2. Nomination and ELECTION of the Safety Committee Chairperson
3. Nomination and ELECTION of Delegates to Local 1-405 Annual Delegated Meeting
4. Submission and VOTING on Resolutions to Local 1-405 Annual Delegated Meeting

5. Other business as submitted by the membership

This meeting is the primary method for the union membership on the plant floor to control the activity and decisions of your union. Your participations is both encouraged and necessary. Be a good union member and support your fellow union members by coming out to this meeting.

All Elko union members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

USW WILL CONTINUE FACE-TO-FACE TALKS WITH IFLRA IN KELOWNA

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee has completed three days of face-to-face bargaining with the Interior Forest Labour Relations Associations (IFLRA) in Kelowna.

The Canfor collective agreement — recently ratified by USW members in three Steelworkers local unions in both the northern and southern interior regions of BC — was proposed to the IFLRA this week as the solution to assist them with the expected recovery of the forest industry. The BC Interior Bargaining Committee intends use this ratified agreement as a template to craft a unique IFLRA agreement that will address the employer association’s issues and concerns in a fair and equitable manner.

The IFLRA represents a number of major southern interior companies such as Tolko Industries Limited, Tembec Inc., and Weyerhaeuser Canada Limited. United Steelworker members employed by these companies — and a number of other smaller southern interior enterprises — have been without a collective agreement since June 30, 2009.

Bargaining with the IFLRA is scheduled to continue in Kelowna over the next few weeks.

Source: USW BARGAINING BULLETIN #31 - March 12, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

STEELWORKERS RATIFY CANFOR AGREEMENT

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee is pleased to announce that United Steelworkers members employed by Canfor in the BC Northern and Southern Interior regions have ratified a four-year collective agreement retroactive to June 30, 2009. Members in USW Locals 1-424, 1-417 and 1-405 voted in majority favour of the agreement that was reached on February 20, 2010.

The agreement provides union members with an unprecedented extension of seniority retention and improved severance in the event of a partial or permanent plant closure. It provides wage increases of 2 percent in years 3 and 4, protects the members' Long Term Disability Plan, and includes strong health and safety language. Improved life insurance and medical travel coverage are also part of the settlement as well as assistance for apprentices. The agreement also includes an innovative employee investment model linked to a direct payback schedule and potential profit sharing.

The BC Interior Bargaining Committee will utilize the Canfor agreement as the pattern agreement for negotiations with West Fraser and employer associations CONIFER and the IFLRA which represent employers in the northern and southern interiors, respectively.

The BC Bargaining Committee is currently meeting with the IFLRA in Kelowna.

Source: USW Bargaining Bulletin #30, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Elko Planer Reduced to 2 Shifts Temporarily

The Elko Planer will be reduced temporarily to two shifts, for a minimum of two weeks, from March 8 to March 19. The production night shift will be removed.

This is done because low production on the Fir/Larch run at the sawmill last week resulted in a decrease of Elko rough inventory, insufficient to sustain three production shifts at the planer.

The one shift reduction, for the two weeks, should allow inventory to be in good shape until the summer.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Union Management Meeting - February 25, 2010


Union Committee Present: Doug Wood, Jeff Bromley, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Don Wheaton, Dave Tracey, Rick Boekestyn.
Management Present: Ian L, Brad J, Roland K.


Meeting commenced at 2:40 P.M.

OLD BUSINESS
Skookumchuck Scaler
MANAGEMENT: Discussion surrounding this issue has resolved the matter with our scalers. They understand that seniority is the defining factor here.

New Stumpage System
MANAGEMENT: We are taking a “wait and see” approach and will work with government on this issue.

Road Grader
MANAGEMENT: The Parsons grader will be coming here around March 8. It is in good shape and bigger than what we had.
UNION: Will there be special training on this new machine?
MANAGEMENT: Yes, we will hire our grader contractor for about two days to help Daryl and the spare on this machine. This grader will have much more capability than the old machine. We will be sure to train grader operators on “when and when not to” grade depending on weather conditions.
UNION: Do you plan to improve the main access road?
MANAGEMENT: Most of our effort will first be put to improving working roads that are heavily traveled. We are going to install a manhole-culvert system to drain water at the planer area and the back-end.

NEW BUSINESS

Vehicle Right of Way in Elko Yard and on Roadway
UNION: There have been issues with right of way on our site.
MANAGEMENT: The main road and office gives right of way to any vehicle on it. Off of the main road, our mobile equipment has right of way.
This should be discussed further at our safety meeting.
We can talk about having trucks loaded in a better loading area that won’t conflict with traffic.
UNION: Can you cut a road on the way in behind the yard, on the old railway bed, so workers can drive in and avoid trucks being loaded, and mobile equipment entirely?
MANAGEMENT: We can take a look at it.

Mill / Company Update and Operational Plans
MANAGEMENT: The whole log chipper will be down for the last weeks of March.
-The turbo-generator will be shut down from early to mid-May. If it’s a minor repair, then two weeks should be enough time to do the job. If it’s major job, then we will restart it, and in about six months (Sept./Oct.) shut it down again and repair it after special ordering necessary parts. We will recommend the hog fuel be stored at Mardis during this downtime.
-Mill is running good, producing lots of wides. We will have to watch how much 2x12 we ship to Canal Flats since our percentage of wides reduces the amount of lumber available for the Elko planer. We may have to take a day or two downtime at the planer if a lot of wides are shipped out, or instead perhaps take a week or two of the planer on two shifts during the summer. This would help vacation requests, but we will see as it unfolds.
UNION: What about maintenance shutdowns during peak vacation periods during the summer?
MANAGEMENT: We will talk to Dennis about this. It does have some merit.
UNION: What about log inventories?
MANAGEMENT: It is good, at about 130,000 cubic metres. We want more white wood than red wood. We will deck a lot more logs in the bush for immediate delivery after spring break-up, although as usual, we might end up with only about one week of wood by end of break-up before we see deliveries.
-We will go to early hours at the scale next week (March 1st.) 3 A.M. to 3 P.M. Normal scale hours are 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Job Status on Watchman vacancy, and Grader Trainees (welders included in this discussion)
MANAGEMENT: Len J. is the new watchman, and Vince M. will be the spare, if he accepts.
UNION: What is the time frame for Steve to be signed off this job?
MANAGEMENT: Steve will be off March 22nd or so.
UNION: Are we posting Dustin’s job for a replacement welder?
MANAGEMENT: No, we are going to post for two millwright/welders, and keep Jay and Tony as spares.
UNION: You cannot post for combined trades. We will grieve this.
MANAGEMENT: With the reduction of trades people on site, we require more flexibility.
UNION: So in keeping our welders as only spares you are going to reward a long time worker like Jay by kicking him to the curb. That is definitely the wrong way to go! You must be aware you will see guys going to the mine. What will you do to encourage guys to stay working here?
MANAGEMENT: Jeff, let us have a discussion next week with you including Troy and Bob. We will put the posting for millwright/welder on hold until then.
Job Status on Watchman vacancy, and Grader Trainees (welders included in this discussion) cont’d.
UNION: We will need more grader spares as summer comes up and graders take vacations. What is the number of people you will commit to training per week?
MANAGEMENT: We will have two people available at one time per week for training.

Spares Who Drop Spare Job and Forced to Stay On
MANAGEMENT: Spares doing their job are competent to train their replacements. There should be no safety hazards by requiring these workers to remain on the job until the replacement is competent.
Workers are needed to run the mill.
We will always work with the individual involved if there are reasons based on merit that the worker needs to leave the spare job quicker.
UNION: What is happening with the Kiln Fork posting?
MANAGEMENT: Although we have 5 or 4 forks there, we want an extra fork operating so we can have someone to help load trucks after hours.

Powder in Gloves, What is it??
MANAGEMENT: Our supplier, LaytoPlast, informs us it is non-scented talcum powder. The amount varies from glove to glove.
UNION: Do you have the M.S.D.S. on this product?
MANAGEMENT: Under law, this is not required for talcum powder.
UNION: Brad, since you spoke with the supplier on this matter, can you provide a short write-up of this for the workers.
(NOTE: the M.S.D.S. requirement will be investigated further by the Plant Committee.)

New Company Seniority List showing recent New Hires
MANAGEMENT: You can use the Call Out List to see who has what seniority.
UNION: Some new workers were hired on the same date, how did you determine priority?
MANAGEMENT: We did a draw and all were placed in their respective seniority positions that way.
UNION: Will you be requiring more hires?
MANAGEMENT: Applications will be accepted. In March we will start testing again. We need casuals, and remember, employees kids come first for casual employment.
UNION: Manning lists for planer and sawmill should be available for both areas to view.
MANAGEMENT: A memo will be sent to supervisors to post the list for both areas in the foreman’s office. Additionally, weekly safety meeting minutes will need to be posted. (The planer does a better job on this compared to the mill.)

Workers Driving Through Elko Requested to Observe Speed Limit
UNION: Children and their pets may be on the roadway as some Elko Mill Workers speed through the town of Elko. We would like workers to remember this and drive safely through Elko. Can you help to get the message across?
MANAGEMENT: We will put out a memo via our Safety Talks on this matter.
MANAGEMENT: We will look at putting up signage about driving safely through Elko town.

Lunchrooms Refurbishments
UNION and MANAGEMENT: We need workers and weekend crews to keep the lunchrooms in clean order and not leave a mess. They are to be a place for workers to properly relax in, and take a break from their job.
UNION: What is the budget we have to allow workers to enjoy their lunchroom? And what items will you pay for in the lunchroom?
MANAGEMENT: The current “lunchroom enhancement” budget is $3000 for the entire plant. To help workers relax, it could include such things as fridges, microwaves, radios, TV, or Foosball if there is enough money to meet the request.
-Lunchrooms need to be treated with respect.
-For the planer lunchroom, as requested, we can leave a bench and old table in a corner.

MEETING ADJOURNED 4:25 P.M.

Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405


__________________________________

Information of interest-
· 2nd Round for Vacation Scheduling deadline is March 12.

· Tentative date for Elko’s Sub-Local meeting is Sunday, March 21, 2010.
The business of this meeting will be:
§ Plant Committee Elections
§ Safety Committee Elections
§ Resolutions to the Annual Delegated Meeting
§ Election of Delegates to the Annual Delegated Meeting
§ Discussions on a new Spare Job Program
“You are the Union; please attend your Union meeting.”