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.


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.


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.

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


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."