Tuesday, 30 January 2007

From the President

To All Members CEP Local 592,

Your Wage Delegates are continuing discussions with local management concerning some requested concessions on our Collective Agreement in return for contractual severance packages. The majority of these talks have been around local items and have not yet breached any Main Wage items. These discussions will continue until we have reached an impasse or we have something to bring to the Membership. We ask for your patience and understanding for the apparent lack of information that is getting out to you, the Membership, but these discussions are very laborious and detailed in nature and any misinformation could be detrimental to the eventual outcome.

Pete Rayburn
President Local 592

Wage Delegate Update #2

Just a quick update. I know that getting information out about what's going on is a vital concern for the membership. We met yesterday and today with the company. Currently the talks are pretty much an exchange of concerns over some of the things that are issues for the company and for us. Thus far the talks have been fairly constructive and, in my opinion, fairly positive.

If talks continue on in this manner then I would think that we will eventually have some kind of document or documents addressing some of these issues that would be brought to the membership for acceptance or rejection. I can assure you that we are not discussing main wage concessions. We may be able to reach some kind of agreement on changes and cooperation going forward, not unlike what Local 76 in Powell River has managed to do. In exchange we will see enhanced severance packages that will help ensure the employment of many of our currently laid off members. This is why we are talking and why we should talk.

We are currently scheduled to talk again on Thursday to continue the discussion. Though I personally have been rather pessimistic of late, these talks give me a glimmer of optimism and we all just need to be patient. There are no details to give out because it is still just at the talking point level.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Just to let everyone know that we met again this afternoon with the company to seek some clarification. Another meeting is planned for Monday.

Look for updates here. I will put as much info on this blog as I practically can. But, please be patient with the process.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Wage Delegate Notice

The following notice was posted in the mill today:

January 24, 2007


The Wage Delegates met with the Company today and we were presented with a list of concessions on our Collective Agreement in return for contractual severances. A follow up meeting is scheduled for tomorrow for further clarification. We will keep you informed. Any decisions on how we proceed will be brought to the membership of Local 592.

Local 592 Wage Delegates.

Pete Rayburn
Phil Guild
Tim Thompson
Jim VanDusen
Daryl De Rooy

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

January Forward Look

Here is the link for the January Forward Look.

I just want to mention again that currently the Forward Look online only consists of submitted articles that are typed into the computer at the Union Hall. I do plan to attempt scanning in the entire Forward Look so the online edition will be identical to the print edition, but I need to make the time to do this. It all pushes the learning curve a bit for me.

In solidarity,


Monday, 15 January 2007

Russ Horner Resigns

In case you haven't heard:

From Catalyst's Daily Digest:
Catalyst board accepts executive resignations, search for successors underway

The company issued the following news release today:

Catalyst Paper’s board of directors today announced that it has accepted the resignations of two executives who have elected to exercise change of control agreements.

Russ Horner, president and chief executive officer, and Ralph Leverton, vice-president, finance and chief financial officer, have tendered their resignations. An executive search is underway to identify their successors and both executives have agreed to remain with the company to the end of the next annual meeting of shareholders, to be held on March 28, 2007, or the appointment of successors or interim successors, to assist in the transition.

"Russ stabilized the operational and financial performance of our company during a challenging period of industry restructuring and consolidation," said board chairman Keith Purchase. "At the same time, Ralph led the cost management and capital refinancing of the business to significantly improve the balance sheet during a protracted downturn in this cyclical sector.

"We appreciate their loyalty, dedication and willingness to facilitate a smooth transition as the board completes its selection of new executives who will build on the fundamental strengths of the business."

Russ worked for Catalyst and its predecessor companies for more than 30 years. Prior to his appointment to lead Catalyst Paper, he served as chief operating officer, Australasia for Fletcher Challenge Paper, president and chief operating officer of Fletcher Challenge Canada and president and chief executive officer of Norske Skog Canada. In 2001, he guided the merger of Norske Skog Canada and Pacifica Papers to create NorskeCanada, which was renamed Catalyst Paper in 2005.

During Russ’s tenure, Catalyst Paper set new benchmarks for safety, and community and environmental group relations in British Columbia.

Ralph joined Catalyst in 1999 after holding executive positions at Pope & Talbot and Harmac Pacific and a variety of financial positions with MacMillan Bloedel.

The recent acquisition by Third Avenue Management LLC of an additional 39 million common shares of Catalyst on behalf of various client accounts, exceeding a 25 per cent threshold established under the executives’ agreements with Catalyst, constituted a change of control under such agreements. Under the terms of the control change agreement, Russ and Ralph are entitled to receive change of control and pension benefits totalling $4,779,865 and $1,582,546, respectively, on the date that their employment ends.
And from Russ himself:
January 15, 2007

We’ve come a long way – now it’s time to pass the baton

Earlier today, our board of directors announced that it had accepted my resignation as president and chief executive officer and Ralph Leverton’s resignation as vice-president, finance and chief financial officer.

The board is looking for successors, and Ralph and I have agreed to stay with the company until the annual general meeting this March, or the appointment of successors or interim successors, to make sure the transition to new leadership is smooth.

The recent changes in board and ownership structure make this an appropriate time to make a transition in executive leadership as well. I know this announcement may take some of you by surprise. The fact is that change at the top is a reality for most corporations.

It has been my privilege to work with you and to lead our company as president and CEO for the past several years. I have been in this industry for more than 30 years, and the last few years have been some of the most interesting and demanding as we moved through a period of extensive restructuring and consolidation.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the lasting contribution Ralph has made since joining the company in 1999. During his tenure he brought focus to our balance sheet and guided our financial restructuring through mergers, acquisitions as well as timely and cost-saving debt refinancing. He also greatly improved the transparency and depth of our disclosure reporting and has been my partner through many complex and challenging developments.

At times like this, it’s natural for employees to wonder what the future will hold. Those who know me best will appreciate that I have made a habit of dealing in facts rather than speculation, so I would say the best thing to do is to stay focused on safety, quality and performance. This is what we’re known for at Catalyst and how ongoing value can be created for customers and shareholders.

When I became this company’s president I committed to guiding it through the initial phases of restructuring – improving efficiency, reducing costs and moving up the product value curve. Reaching our rightful place as a leader in our sector reflects what all of you have done. We’ve made great progress, much of it thanks to your energy and enthusiasm, and I have every confidence that new leadership will continue to build on the performance culture that is now in place.

Russ Horner

President and CEO