Friday, January 7, 2011

PRICES FAIL TO WAKE IFLRA AS PRESSURE BUILDS FOR ACTION

Regrettably the IFLRA is silent on the union’s proposals for a deal and instead is attempting to convince the USW members in the southern interior that they are unworthy of the pattern deal signed off in other parts of the Province.

This approach has both angered and united members. The Bargaining Committee has heard this message loud and clear at the meetings, site tours, or from concerned members
who contact the Union Halls directly.

Many offended union members are insisting the union immediately conduct a strike vote to demonstrate that the membership is not in any mood to continue tolerating IFLRA game playing—finding it an IFLRA charade when all other employers were able to sign off on this agreement without strike vote action. It’s really a fool’s game for the IFLRA continues to push their 3rd-rate substandard “final document” because in doing so, they are dismissing the already established industry pattern and all the remaining local union issues.

And should a strike vote be called, it’s important for members to remember that a strike vote provides your negotiating committee with a stronger mandate at the bargaining table. It also sends your employer a very clear message that you support your negotiating committee, and that you are serious about the demands you have made. The stronger your strike vote, the louder the message you send to your employer.

Unlike our southern interior union members, t h e IFLRA seems oblivious to the significant rise in lumber prices. In fact, there are indications that the trend in lumber prices will likely continue to rise. These increases will probably not sit well with company executives who look to the IFLRA leadership at times when production interruptions would not be welcome.

USW members have been extremely patient with the illogical IFLRA tactics and the upward trend in lumber prices does not bode well for their “worst financial crisis” strategy.

Even with all this IFLRA nonsense, the USW is ready to bargain. Tell your Supervisor that the IFLRA is risking labour unrest and literally “missing the boat” to China.

TURNING POINT—The IFLRA is unwilling to come to terms on the remaining items in an industry-wide pattern deal. Two companies within the IFLRA have agreed to the same pattern deal up north—their northern operations already enjoying the benefits of a new agreement. Surprisingly, these companies allow their southern operations to languish and suffer under the weight of IFLRA dithering.

The USW is becoming more impatient. Union members are both patient and realistic, and willing to support their Bargaining Committee over the long haul.

The IFLRA is silent and seems in disarray as they watch lumber prices rise—unable to deal with their own internal strife as their own people ramp up production in the north.


Source: USW BC Interior Bargaining - Turning Points, January 4, 2011

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