Local 592 Wage Delegates have started discussions with Ron Buchhorn and local Management ( Dale Shimell, Carlo Dal Monte and Krista Tremblay) along with facilitator Bert Painter, to investigate the potential re-start of #4 Paper Machine and what it will take to get there. The first 2 days were dedicated to formulating the framework for future discussions which include the goals and objectives of both parties as well as the principles and processes that we will use going into these talks. Although there was little if any specifics discussed on what it will take to reach an agreement we did agree on the format and the process. The group acknowledged the best future for our mill is a 2 machine configuration and to achieve that we need the investment necessary to achieve the long term viability for a 2 machine mill. It was also acknowledged that we must invest in the younger work force to guarantee the long term future of this mill. That investment would mean a dignified exit strategy for our older work force by way of enhanced packages for those that want to leave.
The group has set some tentative time lines to achieve any agreement. It was mutually agreed that we should shoot for the middle of November to complete our discussions and if we have come to a tentative agreement we will present it to the membership for ratification and then present it to the Board of Directors at the end of November with implementation in January 2008. If an agreement is reached, #4 Machine would potentially start-up in April 2008. It was stated that they would not start A4 in the winter when it is historically the time of year when our order folder is sparse and they will not start up a machine with no orders.
Ron Buchhorn did make it clear that if there are any of our older members who have thoughts of leaving but are waiting for any possible packages that he would include those people (if they wanted to leave now) in any packages achieved if a deal is reached.
As I stated in the beginning, we did not cover off any specifics but as we get into this process it will be very delicate and the issues will be difficult to deal with, but the end result will be dictated by the membership of Local 592. It was made very clear that if we are successful in reaching an agreement and to secure a long term future as a 2 machine mill, it will mean that we do things very differently with substantially less people.
This group will not be meeting again till August 28th due to absences by various people in the group, but the Wage Delegates will use this time investigate and list the issues that I'm sure we will be dealing with when we get back together.
Local 592 Wage Delegates
Daryl De Rooy
Carlo Dal Monte