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.

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.


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.


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.”

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