Friday, 3 August 2007

From the President

I have been made aware that there may be some concerns from some of our members about the current Executive structure and the appointment of an alternate Wage Delegate.

As most of you are aware Jim VanDusen has left for temporary employment in Crofton and has resigned as a Wage Delegate for Local 592. Our membership numbers under the current Wage Caucus Rules of Order, entitle us, by per capita representation, to three voting Wage Delegates. Therefore it was not necessary to replace Jim. After the announcement of #4 Paper Machine curtailment and the decision to enter into talks with the Company, Tim Thompson advised the Executive that he and his family were on vacation and would not be available for the early stages of these talks. It was decided that I would appoint another Executive member to sit as an alternate Wage Delegate and for continuity this person would continue to participate until the talks conclude. I decided to appoint Phil Guild as an alternate Wage Delegate for the duration of these talks. The decision to appoint Phil was an easy one, due to Phil's long time service on the Executive and his experience in past negotiations. Jim had appointed Phil as an alternate Wage Delegate back in the fall of 2006 for the first set of discussions and Phil has taken part in the last two sets of talks since. Phil's experience and knowledge of the issues that we know we will be dealing with, is going to be an asset going into these talks. The decision to appoint Phil was discussed, moved, seconded and carried by the Executive and was reported to the Membership at the last General meeting with no concerns expressed from the membership at that time.

One other perceived issue that should be addressed is my status as President. When we decided to start talks with Ron Buchhorn, I asked Mike Putzke for an extended book-off so that I would have the time to deal with all the issues that surround the impending lay-offs and also the time required for discussions and negotiations on the future of #4 Paper Machine. Because I'm a shift worker, it was next to impossible to dedicate the time necessary to deal with these tasks. The fact is, I am not a full time president. I am on an extended book-off until Sept. 1st or until talks conclude, and that now looks like we will be going into November. There is no financial burden on the Local as the company is covering my wages, and my absence creates a full time opportunity for a junior person to get hours. Hopefully this has given some clarification for those members that may have some concern on these topics.

Also for clarification, the next scheduled talks are August 22nd and 23rd, not the 28th as I previously posted. (Yeah, I do make some mistakes). We will get any new information out as soon as possible. I can only hope that everyone remains focused and stays safe during these very uncertain times.

Pete Rayburn

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