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