Sunday, 9 September 2007

Wage Delegate Report

Local 592 Wage Delegates resumed discussions with Ron Buchhorn and company on Friday Sept. 7th. The better part of the morning was spent reviewing the minutes of the last meetings in July to help bring Kim Pedersen up to speed as he has replaced Carlo Dal Monte. The group also spent some time discussing the issues that have resulted since the Sept. 1st curtailment and the resulting lay-offs.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to identification of the key issues that are impacting cost/performance. It was agreed that each item should be examined for root causes and improvement opportunities.

Following is a list of the issues and barriers that were identified:
  • Lack of flexible work practices (for more than just trades) that impede using people's skills.
  • Too many people and too many contract hours.
  • Underlying desire to avoid reducing the work force.
  • How to decrease the workforce through "packages".
  • Poor scheduling & planning (eg. training the wrong people, training to fill hours)
  • People are not clear if information they provide is being used or acted upon.
  • Jurisdictional barriers.
  • Lack of a gate hire policy.
  • Need to "blank out" critical times.
  • Management of time off.
  • Length of shot downs (not within 12 hours).
  • Too much pay for unskilled work.
  • Powell River letter.
  • Too many penalties paid for a continuous manufacturing operation.
  • Department seniority.
  • Gaps in training & trouble shooting skills.
  • Lack of Rigour.
  • Lack of clarity re: Goals and Accountability.
  • Too many Supervisors hands on machines.
  • Lack of empowerment throughout.
  • Current culture is not accepting of change.
  • Leadership is lacking.
  • Ineffective contracting out.
  • Inventory (too much or inappropriate)
  • Unavailability of parts.
  • Too many unplanned Breakdowns and repeat failures.
  • Lack of Safety Leadership.

After developing this list it was agreed that each of these items will have to be quantified and just how any resolutions to these issues will help reduce the cost per ton.

The group did start to discuss some of these issues such as a "gate hire policy" and just what the advantages and disadvantages could be. It was agreed that this would not be utilized to solve long term hiring needs, and also would not adversely affect any future apprenticeship programs.

There was also some preliminary discussion on "Management of time off". The Wage Delegates will be meeting next week to explore our options for improvement on this issue.

The group has set a tentative schedule for future talks which will take us into the middle of October. We will be meeting again on Sept. 20th & 21st. Sept. 24th & 25th. Oct. 1st & 2nd. and Oct. 11th & 12th.

As you can all see by the list of "issues and barriers", some of these items will be very difficult to deal with but the Wage Delegates still remain optimistic that these discussions could be successful. But again, it is the membership of this Local that will ultimately make the decision on what direction we will take to secure a viable future for this mill. The Wage Delegates will make a report at the General Meeting on Sept. 17th and try to answer any question you may have.

Local 592 Wage Delegates

Pete Rayburn, Daryl De Rooy, Phil Guild

Catalyst Management

Ron Buchhorn, Kim Pedersen, Dale Shimell, Krista Tremblay


Bert Painter


  1. I sure hope you dont go the gate hire way. As you will be taking away work from the building trades. Remember when you stood arm in arm with them against TNL. IF you did go the gate hire would you be payin living out to to the people from out of town. Remember the CLAC does. When you go to town on union buisness you get your costs payed. When you go to town for the company your costs are covered. What benifits do the gate hires get pension medical? Remember they will be members of the local as long as they work in the plant. So they should be intitled to some sort of LOA just like the building trades. Grumpy

  2. forget about looking after anyone but ourselves - powell river did that and got an agreement in place and our tactics got us more layoffs that did not help our local at all.. our sister mill in crofton has gate hire that works well..

  3. no explanation needed but all tank watch and especially FIRE WATCH permits should be sent to the union hall each week so the proper people are doing the jobs -- TOO many junior trades are doing these jobs day to day while senior operators are at home ...

  4. I realize that you guys are busy but could we get an update on whats happening.