Local 592 Wage Delegates having been meeting with Ron Buchhorn and local Management for the last few days. Friday Sept. 21st was spent dealing with issues that were previously indentified as the challenges and barriers that prevent us from achieving the manufacturing cost on A4 to $575 per ton on directory. It was decided that this goal would only be a short term solution due to the Canadian dollar reaching par. It was mutually agreed that our goal should be based on EBITDA rather than manufacturing cost for a long term solution. It was noted that to convince the Board to invest in our mill and invest in our younger work force we should shoot for at least a $200+ EBTDA and maintain or better that going into the future. Although this will be far more challenging, it does make more sense if we are looking for that long term, viable future as a 2 machine operation. The issue around "Management of Time Off" was discussed at length and many proposals were put on the table. Some of these proposals may seem to be distasteful but it is a fact that time off does present a big barrier to achieving any sort of goal due to the demographics of our membership.
On Monday Sept. 24th, Jess Beaman was invited to give us an overview on the down sizing and restructuring process at Boyer in Tazmania. Jess Beaman relayed to us that the approach he took at Boyer was "ruthless" but the end result was a long term future for a mill that was to be shut down. His talk was very "sobering" but there may be some ideas that we can take away from this to help us to achieve our goal.
Tuesday Sept. 25th we again dealt with the indentified issues and included "time off", flexibilty and planning and scheduling. Again many ideas were tossed around on how we can deal with these issues. There has been no decisions or agreements made on any of these issues. All of these will be put in a package proposal to be decided upon by the membership of Local 592. As there are still many items that we still have to discuss, we are still shooting for early November to have something to bring back to the membership.
Local 592 Wage Delegates
Daryl De Rooy