Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.

It has been a difficult year to say the least and 2009 may see more difficult times depending on market conditions. But, at this time of the year it is important to stop and consider the blessings of family and friends and be thankful for the good things in life that these same family and friends bring.

I was recently in Vernon visiting my family and had the pleasure numerous times of having my newest grandson fall asleep in my arms. Even though there were times where chaos seemed to reign (especially surrounding his two older brothers), I was still able to recognize what a privelege and joy it was to hold this little bundle, born prematurely back in June, as he rested peacefully in my arms. (If you saw him now you would never believe he was a preemie.)

Most of you know that my faith focuses on the message of Christianity and without wanting to offend anyone I would like to leave you with the message given to working class shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem 2000 years ago. A message that is still appropriate today with all the wars and struggles that we face in life. "Peace on earth, goodwill to all people" is what I wish and pray for each and every one of you who read this blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Newfoundland Revokes Resource Lease

An email from the Western Region pointed to this CTV article. Danny Williams, premier of Newfoundland, says this:

It just makes sense that the province have the rights to its own resources considering AbitibiBowater will no longer operate in the province.

"These resources belong to the people of my province and they're going back to the people of my province," Williams said, noting the mill was part of the original 1905 deal in exchange for resource rights.

He says the company may be compensated for power related capital assets, and it will also be allowed to use provincial resource assets until March 28, when the mill is slated for closure.

I don't know, sounds like a good idea to me.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

December Agenda

Greetings to all from Halcyon Hot Springs where I am enjoying a few days soaking in the hot pools with my wife.

Due to a lack of contributions this month to the Forward Look and being on my 22 days off there will be no online Forward Look this month. The new President will post his article directly to the blog.

The Agenda for the December 15th General meeting can be found here. Make sure you come out to get all the latest info on what's happening.

Now, back to my holidays.

In solidarity,


Thursday, 4 December 2008

Election Results

The elections are now complete, and we will be having the Installation of Officers at our December 15th General Meeting.

The successful candidates are:

Doug Chisholm

Alternate Wage Delegate:
Tim Thompson

Congratulations to all.

Our 2009 Executive Board:

Jim VanDusen

Vice President
John Young

Vice President
Brent Hamelin

Recording Secretary
Tim Thompson

Financial Sec. Treasurer
Norm Skipsey

3rd Year Trustee
Randy Teichman

2nd Year Trustee
John Egresits

1st Year Trustee
Doug Chisholm

Safety Officer
Travis Goodyear

Local 592 Wage Delegates
Jim VanDusen
Phil Guild
Daryl De Rooy
Tim Thompson (alternate)

My thanks to John Young, Brent Hamelin, Steve Smith, Owen Paxton and Dave Warrender for letting their names stand and running for an Executive Board or Wage Delegate position.

Jim VanDusen

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Christmas curtailment at Catalyst Port Alberni mill

The following is a bulletin sent out earlier today announcing the dates that we will be shutting down around Christmas.

November 26, 2008
In light of declining orders and to manage fibre, energy and related input costs effectively in the short and long-term, the Port Alberni mill will shut down during the Christmas period.
The production curtailment of PM5 will begin on Monday, December 22nd at 6:00am, with startup commencing on Monday, January 5th at 6:00am. The production curtailment for all other areas will be as of Tuesday, December 23rd at 6:00am. Steam plant start-up will be on Friday,January 2nd at 8:00am. Other areas will begin start-up work on Saturday, January 3rd at 6:00am as required.
Crew requirements during this period will be confirmed and announced within the next few days,but will be limited to essential personnel only.
Kim Pedersen
General Manager
Port Alberni Operations

As I said yesterday I will be meeting with the company in the next few days to discuss all the details regarding this curtailment.

Jim VanDusen

Monday, 24 November 2008

Company's served notice they are shutting down for Christmas Stats.

The company served notice that they will not be running on the Christmas stats. Earlier this evening Kim Pederson sent out the following email to all Alberni users .

"The company has notified both Local 592 and Local 686 that our intention is not to run through the Christmas stats (December 24, 25, and 26) this year. Further details will follow as soon as possible but hopefully this notice will allow you to start planning for the holidays."

I will be meeting with the company to discuss the details of how this works with our members being paid on an annualized pay system.

Jim VanDusen

December Meeting Notice and Notice of Motion

The dates of December's meetings can be found here.

In addition, a notice of motion for a bylaw change concerning quorum numbers for the General meetings was made at November's General Meeting. It can be found here.

Articles for the Forward Look need to be sent to my gmail account no later than December 4th so I can get them to someone to print out for the Executive Meeting. I will be on my 22 off and will be in Vernon at the time but I should still be able to manage things.

In solidarity,


Links in this post:
December Meeting Dates
Notice of Motion

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Tentative Agreement Reached

It has just been announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between CEP and Catalyst Paper. Jim has asked me to post the following announcement:

Tentative Agreement Reached Between Catalyst and CEP
For immediate release
November 20, 2008

PARKSVILLE - The Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada and Catalyst Paper Corporation are pleased to announce that they have reached a tentative agreement on the renewal of the collective agreements for their pulp and paper operations in Crofton, Campbell River, and Powell River.

This new agreement which will be offered for ratification by the union locals in the coming weeks provides for the implementation of the CEP Industry Pattern Agreement as well as a commitment to complete plans which will assist Catalyst Paper in reaching its stated goal of an $80/tonne labour cost structure. These initiatives are intended to help solidify the viability of these operations for the future. The new four-year agreement will also provide a stable labour relations environment through to 2012 as the two parties deal with today’s difficult market conditions.

“We are very pleased that the two parties have reached this tentative agreement,” states Jim Britton, CEP Vice President, Western Region. “With all the uncertainty of the current global economic crisis, it is very good news that we are close to finalizing an agreement with one of our largest employers in BC.”

“Surviving this prolonged downturn in our industry is only possible with the support of the Unions and employees across the business and we commend everyone for getting this tentative agreement in place,” said Catalyst President and CEO Richard Garneau. “This enables us to focus on cost management and the adjustments needed to address current economic and market deterioration and provides for greater certainty of business success over the long-term.”

Catalyst is the largest producer of specialty printing papers and newsprint in Western North America and also produces market kraft pulp and owns Western Canada’s largest paper recycling facility. The company’s six mills have a combined annual capacity of 2.8 million tonnes of production. Catalyst is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada and its common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CTL.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada represents 150,000 members from coast to coast, including 40,000 members in the pulp and paper industry.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Report From the New President

Our General meeting was very well attended. I thank all of you that took the time to come out and I hope that we will continue to get these numbers for all our meetings.

Some of the highlights from our meeting were:

  • Nominations were held for the 2009 Executive Board and Tim has already posted the results, thanks to all those that let their name stand and good luck to all.
  • A motion was carried to send $200.00 in support of our brothers and sisters in CEP Local 175. On November 17, 2007, Petro-Canada locked-out 260 workers at its refinery in Montreal, refusing to give them the same contract settlement it has already negotiated in other provinces. If you wish to read more about this please click on the link “Petro-Canada Boycott Page.”
  • There was also a Notice of Motion, from the floor, to lower the number of members needed for a Quorum at our general Meetings. Notices will be posted, in the mill and on our blog, and we will be voting on this at our December General meeting.

The usual procedure is for the newly elected officers to use these next few weeks to receive training from the out – going officers, get sworn in at the December General Meeting and assume office after that. However, because Pete resigned and we were running with an interim President, John Young swore me in after our General Meeting .

I want to thank everyone for their support and kind words of encouragement. I am looking forward to not only working with our new Executive but also with our membership as a whole.

Thank you again for your support

Newly elected President,

Jim VanDusen

Monday, 17 November 2008

Nominations and Acclamations

The General Meeting has just ended and I thought I would update everyone on Nominations for Executive Positions.

The following people were acclaimed:
President: Jim VanDusen
Vice President: Brent Hamelin
Recording Secretary: Tim Thompson
Financial Secretary-Treasurer: Norm Skipsey
Safety Officer/Guard: Travis Goodyear

There will be an election for the 3 year Trustee position. The candidates are Doug Chisholm and Dave Warrender.

The membership also passed the Notice of Motion regarding the Alternate Wage Delegate. There will be an election for this position. The candidates are Brent Hamelin, Owen Paxton, Steve Smith, Tim Thompson, and John Young.

The elections will be held at the mill gate on November 28, December 1, December 4. You can also vote on these dates at the Union Hall between 9:00 and 5:00.

Good luck to all the candidates.

In solidarity,


Thursday, 13 November 2008

November Forward Look

The November Forward Look is now posted and can be found here.

Don't forget the General Meeting on Monday, November 17th at 7:00. There is important business to conduct because it is nomination night for your 2009 Executive.

See you there.


Petro-Canada Boycott

While preparing the Forward Look, I put a link in the sidebar to CEP's page on the Petro-Canada boycott. There is some good info there if you are interested.

In solidarity,


Forward Look Coming

Just a quick update to let you know that I'll try to get to the Forward Look today or tomorrow. I just finished my last night shift and have to get my mind working again before tackling this month's issue. Check back tomorrow and hopefully it will be up.

In solidarity,


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

November Forward Look Articles

Just a reminder that any Forward Look articles need to be in my gmail inbox no later than Friday, November 7 so that I can print it up for review at the Executive meeting on Monday. Since I am working dayshift on Sunday and Monday this is a pretty firm date.

Thanks and I look forward to your submissions. My email is available by clicking on my name in the sidebar and then click on email in the left column of my profile.

In solidarity,


Monday, 3 November 2008

November Meeting Notice and Notice of Motion

The November meeting notice can be found here.

In addition, a Notice of Motion regarding a bylaw change was read out at the October meeting and it can be found here.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Changing My Mind

Just a quick notice to let you know that, partly as a result of the convention, I have decided to let my name stand once again as Recording Secretary contrary to what I said in my last Forward Look article. This is just in case some of you had decided you might like the job. If so, I would still encourage you to run.

Check out my site for a bit more info which I should have up soon.

In solidarity,


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Convention Report Day 5

The final day of convention started with the credentials report that indicated there were 1014 delegates with a total of 1591 in attendance representing representing 399 locals.

Most of the morning was spent in an Action meeting dealing in part with how to implement the Petro-Canada boycott. For anyone interested I have a few bumper stickers and hard hat stickers plus some information of how terrible the treatment has been by Petro-Canada of the workers from Local 175.

The afternoon was spent finishing up all the resolutions remaining and it is unfortunate that this is always left to the last day because far less debate seems to occur, there is not time to refer anything back to committee and there is even greater pressure not to call for a roll call vote because it is too time consuming. So we basically rush through these final resolutions with little thought given to most of them in my opinion.

There were two resolutions that I spoke of on behalf of the local. One entrenched a rule into all bargaining group rules and the chair ruled that it carried. I challenged it by calling for a roll call vote. Instead, the president called for another vote and ruled that it carried again and though I was standing back at the microphone, I wasn't recognized and that was probably for the best. The resolution wasn't as critical as the next one which I also spoke on. This would have given more power to the National President and allow him to impose a cease and desist on voting on his own authority. I spoke against this because I want the President to consult with others on the Executive Board, including my rank and file reps before issuing any orders. In this day of Blackberrys and conference calls this should not be difficult. This motion was defeated so win one, lose one.

One final resolution calling for CEP to launch a national campaign that pressures provincial and federal governments to make Occupational Health & Safety and labour education mandatory in all secondary schools. The committee recommended non-concurrence and this led to a number of delegates rising up in opposition to the committee's recommendation. I spoke on this as well because I remember all too vividly the last fatality in our mill and my feeling that they were killing our babies. The floor of the convention was clearly in favour of this resolution and soundly defeated the committees recommendation and then overwhelmingly voted acceptance of a motion of concurrence.

Overall, it was a good convention and I enjoyed it although it certainly wears you down during the course of the week. I would like to thank the past President and the Executive and membership for allowing me to go on behalf of the local. I think I represented 592 honourably and partcipated in discussions that had a potential impact on our local.

I don't know how interested anyone is in this since it failed to spark any comments, but we must remember the importance of this convention because decisions are made that can impact our local. I once heard someone describe convention as being like a general meeting for the whole union. This is essentially what it is with resolutions being like motions at one of our general meetings, with some coming from the executive and some coming from the mill.

Personally, the inspiration I mentioned the other day fades fast, but I am still rethinking my decision to not run again. I'll let you know when I decide.

My thanks to those of you who did find some of this of interest and read my lengthy posts. We definitely need members to get more involved in the local for the general good and interest of the membership and not just for specific reasons. I will try and have more to say about the future of the local in my next Forward Look article.

See you around the mill.

In solidarity,


Friday, 31 October 2008

Final Convention Report Coming Soon

I'll try and get the final day's convention report up tomorrow sometime. I didn't purchase another 24 hours of internet so had to wait until I got home to post anything. I spent today travelling back from Montreal and I'm too tired to write a report tonight. The last day wasn't too eventful but I did speak on a couple of resolutions and I'll go into a bit more detail tomorrow.

In solidarity,

Tim (tired but glad to be back in Port Alberni)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Convention Report Day 4

Greetings from snowy Montreal. Actually, it has stopped now and there is nothing on the ground but I'm sure it's cold out there. Fortunately for an avid indoorsman like myself there is a massive underground system here and I'm going exploring this afternoon, and maybe take some pictures (since I brought my camera system and hauled it around the airports.)

Today's report is rather short because it was election day. However, there were no National elections and the only election we had in the Western Region was for our four Rank and File members on the Executive Board. Since five were nominated we had to have an election.

Each local cast there total number of votes representing their memberships. 592's count was 326 votes. There were a total possible 40,162 votes. 38,819 were cast and there were no spoiled ballots. We had to vote forHere are the results: four of the candidates and at least one had to be for a woman.

Here are the results:
  • Mark Cameron - 35,983
  • Donna Fauchoux - 33,419
  • Brent Reid - 30,754
  • Terry Schneider - 28,903
  • Angela Adams - 26,217
Angela agreed to step down and be one of the four alternates. The four then drew straws to determine the order they would be called if needed and here are the results in order:
  • Ian Simpson
  • Amanda Freystad
  • Angela Adams
  • Janet Ingram-Jones
Previously acclaimed were Western Region Vice President Jim Britton, AVP Don Boucher, AVP Wendy Sol and Women's Committee members, Lara Acheson and Maria Shupenia.

My congratulations on behalf of our local to all who let their names stand and to all who were successful. Just as a matter of interest, Brent Reid is a member of Local 630 in Campbell River and Ian Simpson is the President of Local 1123 in Campbell River.

I think we will be well served by our Rank and File members and I am looking forward to greater communications with them. Mark Cameron, newly elected today, began blogging in September (a real rookie) and hopefully, he can use the blog to communicate some of what's going on at the Executive level. You can find Mark's Rank & File site here.

That's it for today brothers and sisters. Tomorrow is the last day and we will have to finish up all the resolutions, slap each other on the back one last time and return home for another two years.

In solidarity,


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Convention Report Day 3

Day three of the convention began with the usual credentials report which showed there are 1035 delegates registered and with all the alternates, guests, reps, observers and staff the total in attendance is 1582 representing 397 locals.

We then heard an address from Laura Penny (and here is her Wikipedia entry). This was followed by an address from NDP leader, Jack Layton who gave a very inspiring speech although one delegate at my table said he had heard that speech five times on TV during the election campaign. I'll admit to not being a huge NDP fan over the last number of years, but, I have to admit that it is a party that comes closest to caring about the interests of the common working person, and that certainly makes me rethink my opinions.

The Neil Reimer award was presented to Nancy Minton.

We then heard from CLC President Ken Georgetti before dealing with a couple of General Resolutions including an emergency resolution dealing with the 11 month lockout of Local 175 by Petro-Canada and calling for a national boycott campaign against Petro-Canada until a settlement is achieved and also calling on local unions to financially support Local 175 on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the lockout on November 17. I have a handout on the lockout and if anyone wants further details, just ask in the comments and I'll elaborate a bit more. The main point, I think is that the local is just seeking the pattern agreement from a company who recorded record profits in 2007 of 2.73 billion dollars. It is also interesting that the pattern was established between Petro-Canada, Edmonton Refinery and CEP Local 501 on May 13, 2007.

The afternoon session was down to business dealing with numerous Constitutional and General Resolutions. I won't bore you with every detail and even though there were some important resolutions passed, there are none that I will highlight but be sure to read tomorrow's convention report on the CEP site for further information, if you are interested. (Here is the link to today's report.)

A donation was taken yesterday (I believe) from the delegates on the floor that was designated to go to a local Montreal charity called Accueil Bonneau which helps the homeless in the city. The donation would be matched by National Union funds and I'm happy to report that $5,701 was donated from the floor and the National matched and rounded up for a donation of $11,500 to this organization.

The last item of the day was the Spina Bifida presentation where the Union makes its annual donation of 10 cents per member and locals who choose to donate come and make their presentation. Unfortunately, I was not up on this prior to convention and never brought it up with the Executive so we did not make a donation as we have in the past.

I had a good opportunity to talk with the brothers from Local 603 whose resolution I spoke against yesterday. They wanted to assure me that the resolution regarding a "me too" clause did not directly refer to us as I had said when I spoke, but was designed to help prevent their own local from going down that path in the future. It was good to clear the air and I have continued to bump into Caucus members who, while not necessarily supporting what we did, are at least understanding. Their main difficulty was our failure to keep Caucus adequately informed and I understand that.

I also find these Conventions somewhat like a revival meeting and I have to admit that I am rethinking my decision to step down from the Executive as I reported in the last Forward Look. However, I need to come back and discuss this with those who may be thinking about running because I don't want to discourage or mislead anyone. It's the nature of a Convention like this that you can't help but be inspired to become more active. Time will tell. I am trying to resist the urge......

That's it for today. I will try and get a report up tomorrow before the Banquet that happens at every convention.

In solidarity,


Monday, 27 October 2008

Convention Report Day 2

Day 2 of the convention got underway this morning with the credentials report which I didn't catch. However, the afternoon report indicated that there were 1033 delegates registered and 1481 total in attendance.

Each day of the convention there is a 50-50 draw with half the proceeds going to the winner and half to the Spina Bifida Association. I report on this because the winner's take today was $1805. I won't say who won but he did a very generous thing in taking only $500 and donating the rest back to the Spina Bifida Association. A very commendable thing to do in my opinion.

There then followed and presentation from the Young Workers Committee and then a CMAW video. The CEP Humanity Fund report followed and I think this is something that we should have a real good look at in our local. It works on the idea of 1 cent per hour donation with a matching company donation if you can negotiate that. The fund is another useful tool in the fight to end poverty and that interests me a lot.

Next was an address by Riccardo Petrella who spoke on issues surrounding capitalism's attempt to own everything. You can read about Riccardo and the other guest speakers here. We then dealt with several General Resolutions dealing with NAFTA, Energy Security and Jobs Campaign, an emergency resolution on the Financial Crisis and a revision of the Energy Policy. The Energy Policy was defeated but later in the day a motion to reconsider was passed and it was then sent back to the General Resolutions Committee for reconsideration with instructions to delete one particular paragraph.

Just as the Constitution Resolutions Committee began their report they were interrupted because Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe had made a surprise visit and he then gave a speech.

The afternoon session was mostly down to work dealing with resolutions but first CEP presented a peace prize to Willie Adams, International Secretary-Treasurer of the ILWU who gave a fairly rousing and inspiring speech.

We then viewed a video on the Forest Industry Crisis followed by the unanimous passage of a General Resolution calling for a Forest Jobs Campaign.

Once again, the Constitution Committee took their seats and the first resolution we dealt with was submitted by Local 603 and called for the doubling of union dues for any local that takes a "me too" clause in their contract. The committee recommended non-concurrence but several speakers spoke and I felt compelled to speak on behalf of our local because this resolution was pointed directly at us and Local 686 and I couldn't let that pass. My job here is to represent the membership and I did not apologize for what we did, but I did explain some of why it was done. The committee's recommendation of non-concurrence passed (which means the resolution does not become part of the constitution. I have to tell you that even though I'm not usually nervous speaking in front of big groups, I was shaking pretty good before and after (must be the coffee.) Hopefully, I'm now used to it because there are two more resolutions that I'm going to have to speak about.

I won't go through all the resolutions that were passed or rejected. You should be able to read the reports on the CEP site. Here's the link to Monday's Newsletter. And here is President Coles' opening speech. Tomorrow is more of the same (here's a link to the Agenda). I'll have a report up after supper (EDT) tomorrow night of those highlights. If you have any questions or want more information about anything specific just leave a comment and I'll try and get it for you. Also, I haven't proof read this report so if there are any spelling or grammatical errors, please excuse me and/or leave a comment and I can correct it.

In solidarity,


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Convention Report Day 1

Bonjour. Greetings from Montreal. My apologies for not updating the blog last night but internet access at the hotel I'm in is $10 extra for 24 hours so I didn't think I needed to report that I had arrived safely and with no hitches. By posting a bit later tonight then I can also post tomorrow night within the 24 hours and then I'm good for another day.

Anyway, on to the report. The first day of the Convention got underway this morning with the usual intros, welcomes and President's address. President Dave Coles gave a generalized report on what has happened over the last two years. It definitely has been a difficult couple of years in forestry and manufacturing. Later on in the day in the report from the Officer's committee we heard that we had lost 12,000 members in the last two years. This was offset with the addition of 10,000 new members via the amalgamation with the Canadian Telecommunications Employees' Association (CTEA). However, the union is currently debt free and the Defence fund is very healthy. While the president spoke of the pressures on locals and the needs to stay strong and not enter into concessionary bargaining he did say, (and I believe I have this quote right) "of course, we will negotiate special deals to save jobs, and we have."

The Constitutional Committee then dealt with a couple of resolutions that had to be addressed prior to nominations and this took some time because people want to have their say, and they did and they have that right.

Following a lunch break, we heard that there were currently some 1200 in attendance. This includes delegates, alternates, guests, reps, etc.

As I mentioned before, we then heard from the Officers' Report Committee. This committee met in September to review the reports to the Convention and prepare the report for delegates on the state of our union. I suppose this is kind of like an audit and the committee had several recommendations on how things could be improved. I would say of primary interest to all who pay dues to the National is that the financial goals of the last two years have been attained. This includes the elimination of the General Fund debt and the building of the CEP Defence Fund to its strongest position ever. Membership strength remains stable at about 133,000 members due to the aforementioned addition of CTEA that offsets the losses in forestry and manufacturing. There is an impact financially and CEP revenues did not meet budgeted targets for 2007-2008. However, all union accounts are in surplus at this time. The committee report was fairly positive on a number of issues.

We then began the process of nominations and former National President (and one time National rep for our local) Brian Payne took over the chair for the purpose of nominations of National Officers. All three positions were back in by acclamation with Dave Coles as President, Gaetan Menard as Secretary-Treasurer and Peter Murdoch as Media Vice President. Then it was time to break into groups for Regional nominations. For the Western Region, Jim Britton was acclaimed as Vice President. Wendy Sol and Don Boucher were both acclaimed as Administrative Vice Presidents. Two sisters were acclaimed for the Women's Committee. I will have their names later when I know I have the spelling correct. Nominated for Rank and File members on the Executive (four to be elected of whom at least one has to be a woman) are Mark Cameron, Terry Schneider, Donna Fauchoux, Angela Adams and Brent Reid. Finally, nominated for Rank and File alternates were Janet Ingram-Jones, Amanda Freystad and Ian Simpson (I'm not sure about the spellings, except for Ian's). The unsuccessful nominee for Rank and File will have the chance to be nominated for alternate.

On the agenda for tomorrow are a couple more reports, an address by Riccardo Petrella and more work on resolutions.

My apologies for the length of my report but I do want to give you some of the information we are receiving. As it is I have greatly condensed the day. I was fortunate to sit at the table with the delegates from Local 76, Powell River and Local 1132, Crofton. I have been asked a number of times by Caucus members how things are going and I tell them it's fabulous! Actually, I try and relate some of the problems with gate hires and some of the other things we are experiencing, but I try and impress on them the fact that, though many of us did not agree with what happened, most of us realize (or at least I do) that we might not be running at all if we hadn't done something. Most I talk with understand, although they don't like what we did and how we did it. All know how difficult Catalyst is to deal with these days.

Here's the link to CEP's Convention report page although none of the report links seem to work yet.

That's it for now. The baseball game is about to start. I'll have more tomorrow.

In solidarity,


Friday, 24 October 2008

Preparing for Convention

Greetings to all who are here checking out the convention reports.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to head out early tomorrow morning for the flight to Vancouver and then Montreal. I'm hoping that I have internet access at the hotel although their web site indicates that standard rooms don't, so I may have to rely on Starbucks to get posts up. Time will tell.

I'm hauling along my DSLR and a couple of lenses so I'll try to get some pictures up of the convention and maybe some Montreal scenics, too if the weather allows. The weather forecast is for rain (at least it's not snow) so I may not venture outside too much.

Anyway, I hope you find this of some interest. It will be different for me this convention going alone, but it should give me time to keep up on the blogging and the World Series. Look for a post sometime tomorrow evening after I register and find out if I have internet access.

In solidarity,


Convention Reports

UPDATE: I've just been reminded that my Viewpoint blog is not accessible from the mill like the 592 blog is so I will be using this blog for the Convention reports. Basically, you can ignore what I've said below and just check in here for the reports if you're interested. Thanks to Jim VanDusen for pointing this out to me.

Those of you who are interested in the convention reports I plan to make will find them on my Viewpoint blog. I haven't been using it for much of anything else and that keeps it separate from the other info on this blog (although, I'm not sure there will be much happening here for the next little while, either.)

I'll try and post the links here so you know when a new report goes up. A pre-convention post is up right now and you can view it here.

The length and frequency of the report will be dependent on the availability of internet access and for that I'll just have to wait and say.

I look forward to your comments and visits over on my site

In solidarity,


Saturday, 18 October 2008

Friday, 10 October 2008

2009 Executive Board Elections

To those of you that may be considering letting your name stand for nomination to the 2009 Executive, this could be an opportune time to submit a letter of introduction to Tim to put in this months Forward Look.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

October Forward Look Articles

Just a quick note that there will actually be a Forward Look this month. If you have an article please email it to me no later than Monday, October 13th so it can be reviewed at the Executive meeting on the 15th.


Monday, 6 October 2008

From the President

To All Members CEP Local 592,

Due to circumstances that are well out of my control I have found it necessary to step down as president of Local 592 effective November 1st. I would like to thank those of you that have supported me over the years and also wish the entire membership some much needed good luck going into the future.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 3 October 2008

October Meeting Date Changes


I will be posting some meeting changes for October's meetings. The only two meetings affected are the Executive Meeting and the General Meeting. Following are the dates:

SHOP STEWARDS: Monday, October 6th, 7:00 PM

EXECUTIVE: Wednesday, October 15th, 6:00 PM
Changed due to Thanksgiving and the Federal Election.

GENERAL: Monday, October 27th, 7:00 PM
Changed due to the #4 Power Boiler Shutdown.

In solidarity,


Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Year of Challenge

This past year has been a year of radical changes for the members of Local 592. Some very tough decisions had to be made and the membership decided to go down a new path to help ensure a future for our local and a secure future for this mill. Some people had to set aside some very basic union principles (including myself) in order to accept the changes needed for our survival, and yet other people have maintained those principles and unfortunately will do what ever it takes to make this agreement fail. I honestly admire and respect their loyalty to their principles but I just can’t understand why they would want this operation to fail and take the entire membership down with them. I too have principles and one of them is “to do what ever it takes for the benefit and welfare of the entire membership of this local”. I know when I say that, some of our laid off people are saying “what about us”? Those people are still living in a world of uncertainty with no clear vision of the future. Over the last few years we have tried to do everything possible for these people by providing some clarity on what their future at this mill may look like. This local negotiated an early retirement offer, an enhanced severance offer, and reluctantly accepted the 5 shift schedule in order to provide full time employment for some of our junior people. Unfortunately some of these people have, in the past, declined ordinary severance offers, job elimination severance offers and, most recently, enhanced severance offers and gambled on the possibility of steady employment. Unfortunately there were no guarantees of employment below the lay-off line. Every one in this local was well aware of the seniority needed to maintain full time employment after May 1st when we ratified the agreement last February. The facts are that these lay-offs would have happened at any rate regardless of the new agreement. Also the depth of these lay-offs would have been far deeper than January 1984. We would be trying to survive as a one machine operation and would probably be down by now. So perhaps one should think of all the people that could be adversely affected by adhering to one’s deep rooted principles.

Since May 1st we have had to adjust to new ways of training and how we relieve for manning shortages. Both are very contentious issues and are constantly being challenged by all concerned. The Wage Delegates meet every Wednesday with local management as well as Brian Johnson to discuss any new or outstanding issues resulting from the agreement. “Training” and “running lean” are usually on the agenda at these meetings and trying to find the ways and means to provide meaningful training and adequate relief for manning shortages in a cost effective manner is a challenge. After all, this whole exercise is about labour costs. We could choose to ignore the concerns of labour costs and just demand that we do things like we did in the past but I believe that the result would be no jobs to train for and no one left to relieve. We will continue to address concerns about training and relieving until we can come to a common sense resolve that meets everyone’s needs.

As every one is aware we are bound by this agreement for the next 5 years. We could put some effort into making this work or we can throw up roadblocks at every turn with the chance of losing everything. It’s your choice.

The remainder of the Catalyst locals are now in bargaining and I hope I speak for all in giving them all the support we can in order for them to achieve the industry pattern agreement. We are attending these negotiations as observers only and are bound by the protocol agreement of an information blackout. Details of these negotiations will not be made known to the general memberships until after a tentative agreement is reached. The pattern agreement will be implemented for Local 592 once the remainder of the Catalyst locals have ratified their respective agreements.

As I stated at the beginning of this article it been a very difficult year for everyone with numerous challenges that we all had to overcome. The next few years will be equally challenging with more contentious issues that we will all have to deal with. November is rapidly approaching and with that are the elections for the executive board for 2009. Now is the time to start contemplating what direction you think this local should take, considering the year we have just gone through. Now is also the time to consider running for a position on the Executive if you want to make a difference. I personally have not made a decision on my future but having said that, I’m not a quitter. I will consider my options over the next several weeks.

Please try and make every effort to come out for the October General Meeting and be a part of the decision making process of this local. As I have said before this union is what you make it, so take part.

Pete Rayburn

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

CEP Local 592 and Catalyst Agree on Pattern Agreement

All Members CEP Local 592,

An understanding was reached earlier today after a meeting with Steve Boniferro (Senior VP HR), Local 592 Wage Delegates, Local 686 Wage Delegates and Management Representatives over the implementation of the "me too" clause in our A4 Start-up Agreement. Both locals will receive the industry pattern agreement after the ratification of agreements by the remaining Catalyst Locals. The Letter of Understanding is contained in an email sent to all 592 Members with a Catalyst email account. If you don't have a Catalyst email account then please ask your work mate for a copy.

Pete Rayburn

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Meeting Dates, Agenda and Forward Look

Things are usually pretty quiet in the summer and not much seem to be happening so it's been awhile since there have been any posts on this site. The president is on holidays and there hasn't been any new news that I'm aware of apart from the continued acceptance of the pattern bargain by other companies.

I hope you have all had a great summer. The weather has been better than last year but it has still been running hot and cold, literally!

September is quickly upon us and with that comes the resumption of meetings. The meeting dates for September are:

(Note Change of Day)



I am about to commence my 22 days off (starting tomorrow) and I will be out of town and absent from the September meetings. I have done up an agenda, however any potential Executive Recommendations are not on it because the Executive meeting for September has not yet occurred. The agenda can be found here.

The final item today concerns the Forward Look. It is unlikely that I will be anywhere near internet access the week the Forward Look normally comes out so I am going to suggest to the President that he post any submitted articles directly to this blog. We should be back to normal for October (whatever normal is anymore).

For those of you seeing your children back to school soon, I hope that goes well for you and for them. And, for all my "C" crew compatriots, enjoy your holidays. I know I will.

In solidarity,


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Catalyst Bargain Re-scheduled

Due to some scheduling conflicts and previous commitments the Catalyst bargain is now tentatively set to commence Sept. 22nd.


Monday, 4 August 2008

Catalyst Locals To Negotiate In Early September

At the Presidents Council in Powell River last Thursday, the Catalyst locals decided to start negotiations on the 2008 industry pattern agreement in early September. The locals will meet on Sept. 8th to deal with any local items that are common to all the locals. They have also set Sept. 9th as a possible date to exchange agendas with Catalyst management. Hopefully discussions will commence on the 10th any carry on until an agreement or an impasse is reached.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 25 July 2008

Pattern Agreement

To All Members of Local 592

The latest concern going around the mill is about the interpretation of the “me too” clause in the A4 Start-up Agreement. Local 592 Wage Delegates are maintaining that the “me too” clause to the 2008 Main Wage Agreement refers to the “pattern agreement” as negotiated by the Western Region Caucus. The pattern for the 2008 bargain is now in place with the Canfor locals ratifying the Memorandum of Agreement.

John Young and myself met with the Local 686 Executive to confirm a common understanding and that we will expect nothing less than the “pattern”. The Wage Delegates will meet with the company as soon as possible to discuss this issue.

Pete Rayburn
President CEP Local 592
Catalyst Paper
Port Alberni BC

Friday, 11 July 2008

Canfor Bargain

Pete asked me to post the Canfor Bargain. You can find it by clicking here. It is a 5mb pdf file.

(I have removed a couple of updates on this post wherein I made some personal opinion statements that should not have been done on this public blog. I apologize for this lapse in personal judgment.)

In solidarity,


Local 1119 (Howe Sound) Reaches Tentative Agreement.

We have been informed that Local 1119 (HSPLP) has reached a tentative agreement yesterday morning. I believe the main wage terms of the agreement are similar if not identical to that of Locals 603 and 1133 who reached a tentative agreement earlier in the week. This will now set the pattern for the remainder of the Pulp & Paper caucus to shoot for at their negotiations.

Pete Rayburn

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Posting Comments

Just a reminder, if you would like to post comments on this blog please provide your name or your comment will not be posted.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Locals 603 and 1133 (Canfor) Reach Tentative Agreement

Locals 603 and 1133 in Prince George have reached a tentative agreement with CPLP (Canfor). Following is a very brief summary of the Hi-Lites.

  • 4 Year Term with 2%, 2.5%, 2.5% and 3% increases in each of the 4 years.

  • Severance increase to 2 wks for the first 20 years and a cap of 52 weeks.

  • Trades, Steam and Longshore adjustments

  • Pension Bridge at 55 to pay from 60 - 65.

  • Increases in Life, AD&D, WI and LTD

The Caucus is now back in discussions with HSPLP (Howe Sound) to continue where they left off some weeks ago.

More detail will be provided later this week on the tentative agreement.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Elk Falls Kraft Mill Permanent Shut Down Announced Today

July 7, 2008
Elk Falls pulp mill to close permanently in November
We are announcing today the permanent closure of Elk Falls pulp and containerboard operations. The closure is expected to take effect on November 30, 2008 and will impact approximately 440 hourly and salaried employees.
I know the division and everyone in our company has worked very hard to reduce costs and to find alternatives to a permanent shut. Lack of sawdust affects only our Elk Falls sawdust pulp production. And, it has become clear that with permanent sawmill closures and other uses diverting available sawdust supply, the Elk Falls pulp mill cannot be saved.
We know this decision is significant for employees and their families in this community. We have discussed the severe challenges facing our industry with employees many times and we appreciate the effort people made to overcome these difficulties at this mill. Unfortunately, the pulp mill remains unprofitable and we hope you will understand that the mill and its jobs cannot be sustained in this situation.
We also hope the notice period will give people sufficient time to plan for the future, and we will take steps to help you access assistance through the mill adjustment committee, Community Development Trust Fund and other community agencies in the weeks ahead.
Today’s announcement highlights how important it is that employees, unions, companies and communities work together to overcome the economic barriers facing our sector.
In the weeks ahead, we will do our best to keep you well-informed and we ask that you take special care to do your work safely and that you watch out for your coworkers during these trying times.
Richard Garneau
President and CEO

Friday, 4 July 2008

Online Shift Calendar

I have a little calendar widget in Vista that allows me to set up my shift schedule so I can see at a glance when I have 22 off in say 2021, (wait, I'll be long retired by then). One of the guys I worked with wanted me to bring the laptop in so he could look ahead a few years. I thought that there must be something online so I went looking.

The Shift Calendar Generator allows you to set up any schedule. To make things easier for you, simply enter the date of your first day back from 22 days off and then copy the following and paste it into the shift type box: 4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-4,4,-22=off

Then pick the year or month and there you have it. I don't know how well it will print out and you need internet access to use it, but I'll keep looking for a little program or something that does the same thing. This allows you to look ahead and see what's happening in 2021.

I'll link to this post in the sidebar for easy access to the numbers and link.

In solidarity,


Monday, 30 June 2008

Postings for Leadhands and Relief Supervisor

POSITION: Leadhand (1)

DEPARTMENT: Automotive Department

RATE: As per the Agreement


The successful applicant will have the following skills, qualifications and capabilities:

· Good verbal and written communication skills
· Excellent interpersonal skills
· Good Technical aptitude and strong trouble shooting skills
· Ability to work in a team environment
· Receptive to coaching
· High level of confidence
· Highly self-motivated
· Proficient at using computers

DATE ISSUED: June 27/08 CLOSING DATE: July 11/08

Interested employees should apply to Brian Chipman.

Open to Local 592 Automotive Mechanics only.

POSITION: Relief Leadhand (1)

DEPARTMENT: Fibre supply

RATE: As per the Agreement


The successful applicant will have the following skills, qualifications and capabilities:

· Good verbal and written communication skills
· Excellent interpersonal skills
· Good Technical aptitude and strong trouble shooting skills
· Ability to work in a team environment
· Receptive to coaching
· High level of confidence
· Highly self-motivated
· Proficient at using computers.

DATE ISSUED: June 27/08 CLOSING DATE: July 11/08

Interested employees should apply to Brian Chipman.

Open to Local 592 Fibre Supply Employees Only.


POSITION: Supply Mgmt Hourly Relief Supervisor

DEPARTMENT: Supply Management

RATE: As per Agreement

QUALIFICATIONS: Supply Management Employees only

DATE ISSUED: June 27, 2008

CLOSING DATE: July 11, 2008

Reporting to the supervisor responsible for the area, the relief supervisor will primarily provide coverage for the supervisor during short term absences. They will be responsible for organizing, planning and scheduling work. They will be expected to order material, approve time cards and ensure that all safety standards are maintained.

Skill Requirements:
· Safety awareness
· Planning and scheduling skills
· Demonstrated leadership skills
· Computer skills (Avantis, Simple SAP)
· Strong problem solving skills

Those interested should apply to Jim Kraneveldt.

Open to Supply Management Employees Only

Friday, 27 June 2008

Government Program Offers Transition Assistance

The following was posted in the Catalyst Digest and I thought some would be interested.

Government program offers transition assistance
The Community Development Trust is a $129 million federally funded program and is part of B.C.’s commitment to build economic prosperity across the province, create opportunities, and assist forest workers affected by the recent downturn in the forest industry. From that $129 million, $85.5 million will be dedicated to the Transition to Retirement Program.
The program provides a range of assistance based on age and number of years of attachment to the forest industry.
This assistance is available to forest workers who are at least 55 years old and wish to retire from the forest industry, either because their previous jobs have been unavailable for at least four months, or because they wish to leave their jobs to make room for a younger worker.
Applications for the program will be accepted from June 16 to Aug. 15. Full details can be found at the provincial government’s website.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Local 592 Email Distribution List

I am currently working on developing a Local 592 email list. At present I only have those that have a Catalyst Email Address. I know not everyone has a company email account. If you would like to have your personal email address added to the list or you would prefer not to use your company address please email me and let me know.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Jeff Power Memorial Service

Jeff's service will be on Wednesday June 25th @ 1PM at Yates Funeral Home on Allsbrook Road in Parksville. Jeff's wife (Kim) would very much appreciate it if any of Jeff's friends or co-workers would be willing to say a few words at his service.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Jeff Power Announcement

June 18, 2008

Jeff Power has passed away

It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Jeff Power on Monday, June 16th after a long and difficult battle with Cancer.Jeff started at the mill in March 1989 as a Millwright. He started his Instrument apprenticeship in 1993 and worked in various areas around the mill as an Instrument Mechanic.

Jeff was personally accommodating and had an incredible sense of humour which saw people gravitating towards him. He will be greatly missed by all.Services for Jeff have not yet been announced but the information will be passed on to everyone as soon as it becomes available.Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Results of Canfor Strike Vote

Both locals 603 and 1133 have conducted strike votes. Local 603 recieved a 98.29% in favor and Local 1133 recieved a 100% in favor. There are some tentative dates set to continue bargaining with CPLP (Canfor) in June and July.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Employee Briefing & Dinner

All employees and their spouse/partner are invited to attend an employee briefing and dinner on Tuesday, June 24th at the Barclay Hotel banquet room.

Doors open at 5:30 and dinner will start at 5:45 p.m., followed by a 1-hour presentation.

Please RSVP your attendance to me by Friday, June 20th so that the appropriate amount of food and tables can be arranged.

Thank you,

Linda Flory
Executive Assistant
Catalyst Paper, Port Alberni Division

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Board of Directors Visit

On Tuesday June 10th the Catalyst Board of Directors visited our mill to get a first hand look at how things have changed since the implementation of the new agreement. A joint presentation was made to the Board covering off what has happened since the ratification of the agreement and what will happen as we go forward with the ramp up of A4 and achieving the commitments made to the Board when applying for the CER (CTMP Upgrade). I believe they were very impressed with the progress so far. But they also stated that influences such as weak markets, energy cost, transportation costs, the dollar etc. continue to put pressure on us to be cost effective, but the new collaborative approach that we have chosen to take is the key to success.

They were very appreciative of the guys on the floor who took the time to talk with them and relay their thoughts on the operation of this mill. They were very impressed on how some people have taken ownership of their jobs. On the other hand they did compare this visit with their last one and in particular the chair tossing, door slamming tantrum by one of our members and are still questioning what that was all about. Despite the negative impression from that visit, I feel they left here satisfied if not impressed that we are doing what we said we would do in order to get A4 back up and running.

Pete Rayburn

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Marc St. Thomas (OH&S Committee)


“The WCB was born out of a compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers or fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. The WCB is committed to a safe and healthy workplace and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits to workers injured as a result of their employment.”

This next article is from the Public Compensation Coalition, it tells a little more of the story of how the present provincial government and industry has ruthlessly reduced the WCB benefits to injured workers. These policy changes have eroded the very intent of the original 1917 workers compensation compromise. Many of these large companies are foreign owed and have made huge profits from our natural resources. Industry seems to be dictating policy to the Liberal puppets. We all lead busy lives and the government banks on apathy and unawareness when making changes like these. The Liberal government and Industry have created a real false sense of security for the people of BC. We don’t want our labour standards reduced to third world levels. If you are willing to accept these changes then you don’t have to do anything. If you want to help regain the benefits that this government has taken away, you can make a difference with by going to the Public Compensation Coalition website and read more about the changes made to WCB and become a member of the Public Compensation Coalition. I ask you to do this is not only for ourselves, but also for the new workforce, our sons and daughters.

Marc St.Thomas

Fact Sheet
Since 2001, British Columbia’s public workers’ compensation system has faced legislative, regulatory, policy and organizational changes. These changes mean many workers are not adequately protected in their workplaces. These changes also mean that workers are not being fairly supported and compensated in the event that they are injured or made ill in their workplaces. Below are some facts about the changes, what they mean, and what might be in store for our workers’ compensation system.

· The WCB closed its world class Rehabilitation Clinic, moving rehabilitation services to other

public and for-profit operations
· First aid services have been contracted out to for-profit companies
· One-third of BC’s workplace health and safety regulations were eliminated
· Penalities imposed on employers have decreased despite an increased number of

recommended penalities
· Life time pensions were eliminated and replaced with a one-time post retirement payout

· Only 39 Loss of Earnings pensions were awarded in 2006, compared to 927 awarded in 2002
· Formerly, disabled workers received a pension for life; now they receive a one-time lump sum
payout of 5 per cent of the total benefits they received
· The injury rate for young workers is more than double that of the overall population
· Changes to the appeals process has made it much less accessible to injured workers

· Liberty Mutual, the second largest provider of private workplace insurance in the US, recently
conducted research on opportunities in Canada
· Recent developments could open the door to an employer-pay system where injured or ill
employees don’t file claims and employers have the right to pay benefits directly
· The current WCB board management says it doesn’t support privatization — for now. We must
always be ready to defend our public system in the case of a change to the board, or further
legislative and regulatory erosion

· The WCB is currently developing an automated claims adjudication program called the Claims
Management System (CMS), which is budgeted to cost $65 million
· The CMS has the potential to narrow entitlements for injured workers, and eliminate the human
discretion to consider individual circumstances
· Those involved in the development of the CMS program have said that it could facilitate the move
to an employer pay system

No Forward Look

There will be no Forward Look this month. I am on holidays with limited internet access. In addition, the only article submitted this month was from Marc St. Thomas and Pete has indicated that he will post that directly to this blog.

The only other issue surrounds the Agenda but I have no information on any Executive Recommendations (having missed the Executive meeting). I would still urge you to come out to the General Meeting on Monday to deal with business prior to the summer break.

To everyone on C crew, I hope you are enjoying your days off. I know I am.

In solidarity,



Please be reminded that the Local 592 General Meeting is Monday June 16th @ 7PM. This is the last meeting before the summer. I have been told that there may be some beverages after the meeting. Its your Union so please come and take part.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

June Forward Look Articles

Just a reminder that Forward Look articles are due this week. Please email them to me at my gmail address, and put Forward Look in the subject line.

Though I am going on my 22 off and will be camping, I think I'll have some internet access and should still be able to manage to get the Forward Look out. Not sure if I'll have an article but we'll see.

In solidarity,


Friday, 23 May 2008

Elk Falls Bulletins

The following bulletins are updates on the discussions that Locals 630 and 1123 are having concerning Cost Reduction Initiatives at Elk Falls.
Friday, May 16, 2008

Bulletin 3 – Update on Joint Standing Committee Discussions on Cost Reduction Initiatives

The joint Standing Committees of Local 630 and Local 1123 met with the Company on Thursday and Friday of this week to continue discussions on removing costs associated with PM1.

The focus this week was determining the impact of position eliminations and maintenance crew reductions on the mill wide seniority list. The committee recognizes the urgency in determining who will be facing layoff as a result of these cost reduction initiatives.

The following information will be made available by Wednesday, May 21:

· A list of jobs that are being eliminated

· A first draft of who is facing displacement in each trade in the Maintenance Department

· An estimate of the “cut line” on the mill seniority list. Employees with mill seniority less than this cut line will be facing layoff.

· The timing of when reductions are to be implemented.

The Committee asks that employees who are considering a leave of absence under the guidelines that were published in April to please submit their requests as quickly as possible. LOA requests have a direct impact on who will be working in the mill and what they will be doing.

Employees are also advised that they must be available for work, be on approved paid time off or be on an approved Leave of Absence.

On the TimberWest front, it appears that 27 employees will be exercising their right to come over to Catalyst. The first 11 started this week. The rest are expected to start in early June.

The Committee will reconvene on Tuesday, May 20 to complete work on the issues identified above. The objective continues to be to have a cost reduction plan finalized by May 23.

If you have any questions, please contract any member of your Standing Committee or your department manager.

Dave Beulah
Director, Maintenance and Engineering
Dan Bergsma
1st Vice President , CEP 1123
Terry Hoff
President, CEP 630

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bulletin 4 – Update on Joint Standing Committee Discussions on Cost Reduction Initiatives

In our last communication, we committed to communicating the following information to you by today:

· A list of jobs that are being eliminated

· A first draft of who is facing displacement in each trade in the Maintenance Department

· An estimate of the “cut line” on the mill seniority list. Employees with mill seniority less than this cut line will be facing layoff.

· The timing of when reductions are to be implemented.

Most of this information has been prepared and will be distributed to departments today. It will also be available online through our “PeopleNet” intranet site. Go to Snap, select PeopleNet, select “Unions/Management Information”, and then select Joint Standing Committee.

As you review this information, you should recognize that this is the first pass at trying to establish who is facing displacement from their department or trade or layoff from the mill. We expect this information will change frequently in the coming days and weeks. Decisions that individual employees may make in the coming days or weeks regarding retirement, resignation or applying for a leave of absence will impact that specific department or trade, and will ultimately affect where the “cut line” for layoffs will fall.

We will make our best effort to ensure the information displayed on PeopleNet is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

The committee continues to work on 2 very important issues that have yet to be finalized and which may impact individual decisions:

· Which positions are considered to be permanently eliminated and therefore be eligible for the severance provisions contained in the Collective Agreement. The committee will work to resolve this issue and communicate it to you on Friday of this week.

· New job assignments for employees who are above the “cut line” but are facing reassignment to a new department. The committee will be working on this issue over the next few weeks and will communicate with individuals as plans are developed.

Positions Being Impacted

The mill’s 2008 labour budget was developed based on the assumption that all machines would run throughout the year. Now that PM1 has been indefinitely curtailed and Kraft production slowed back, the following positions are being impacted as part of this cost reduction initiative. The mill’s budgeted employee levels will be reduced as a result.


PM1 operating crew + relief
31 positions

PM1 Sorter Feeder + relief
5 positions

Paper Machine / Finishing Utility
Increase of 3 positions

Paper Lab
1 position

Pulp Lab
1 position

Stock Prep Assistant + relief
5 positions

PM Clean-up / Utility
2 positions

Yard Shift Services
1 position

Fibre Supply: 3 jobs + relief
17 positions

PM2 6th Hand + relief
5 positions

Paper Machine Relief Supervisors
2 positions

Kraft Cooking Operator (already implemented)
5 positions


Positions Eliminated
Positions Remaining

20 positions

13 positions

9 positions

Instrument Mechanics
8 positions

11 positions

No reductions

Heavy Duty Mechanics
1 position

No reductions

2 positions

5 positions

Lubrication Mechanics
3 positions

Sheet Metal Mechanics
1 position

2 positions

Maintenance Labour
4 positions

1 position

This will result in a total decrease in budgeted hourly positions of 152 from the start of 2008. A reduction in budgeted staff positions of 10 brings the total reduction for Elk Falls to 162 positions.

On the hourly side, does this mean that 152 employees will be laid off? The answer is no. The TimberWest sawmill closure has increased our employee population. The Kraft Cooking employee reduction has not occurred yet. We’ve had employees resign, retire or go on LTD since January. All of these impact the actual number of layoffs that will occur.

In comparing our current number of employees to the revised labour budget, the analysis shows we actually have 163 employees more than required. But we also have employees on leave of absence or long term illness or injury that need to be replaced on a temporary basis.

At the current time, it appears that 141 layoffs will be required. That sets the initial “cut line” for layoff on the mill seniority list at February 1993. If your mill seniority is after this date, you are facing the prospect of layoff.

For employees just above the “cut line”, work opportunities may be temporary in nature if you are covering for an employee on a leave of absence or long term illness or injury.

Who Will Be Displaced or Laid Off?

The Committee has gone through an analysis of who will be impacted by these changes. The seniority provisions of the Collective Agreement will be the determining factor. In simple terms, the following seniority principles will be applied:

· You must have enough mill seniority to access work. If your mill seniority is less than February 1993, you will only be able to avoid layoff if you have a skill that cannot be replaced by a more senior mill employee. Examples of such a skill would be a trade qualification or a 3rd Class steam ticket.

· If you have enough mill seniority to work, then your department seniority will determine what work you will be doing. If you don’t have enough departmental seniority to stay in your department or trade, you will be displaced and assigned to work from the mill Spareboard or Papermaker Pool.

In looking at the mill wide seniority list, there are only about a dozen employees with less mill seniority than February 1993 who will continue to work. All have a trade qualification or ticket that cannot be replaced by a more senior employee.

For employees above the “cut line”, most will continue to work in their regular departments or trades. For those who are to be reassigned, training plans will be developed as quickly as possible. We will try to assign you to areas of the mill that you have experience in.

Timing of Reductions

The timing of the specific reductions is still being worked on. Some require changes in operating processes and procedures, training other employees or installation of new equipment.

We expect that the reductions in the Maintenance trades will be done in mid June.

In operations, many departments will have to make plans to train new employees. This will create work opportunities for some employees facing layoff during this transition period. We expect it will take 2 to 3 months to work through the training issues involved in the reassignment of people.

More information will be communicated as it becomes available.

Employees Facing Layoff

If you are facing layoff, please consider the following:

· If you are near the cut line, regular work may still become available depending on decisions that are made by others in the coming weeks. Even if you remain on layoff, work may still be available, although likely on a sporadic basis.

· Government funded retraining opportunities are available if you want to upgrade your education. Visit the website for further information and application forms.

· Going forward, you must be available for work. If you want to make yourself unavailable in order to pursue another work or education opportunity, you must apply for a leave of absence under the revised guidelines.

· Employees who are laid off will receive a separate notification that will outline benefits coverages and other important information.

· The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) continues to be available for employees who may need assistance in dealing with these changes. They can be contacted at 287-2266 or 338-4533.


The committee will continue to meet to resolve issues related to severances, retraining and implementation timelines. We will update you as plans develop.

This reduction will address removing the costs that are associated with PM1. The committee will continue discussions on achieving the $80 per tonne labour and salary cost objective.

Everyone recognizes that these are difficult times for individuals and families but it is critical that we continue to perform our work safely and efficiently. Watch out for each other. Distractions are numerous.

If you have any questions, please contract any member of your Standing Committee or your department manager.

Tom Paisley
General Manager
Ian Simpson
President , CEP 1123
Terry Hoff
President, CEP 630

Note from Connie Rudy

Following is a note from payroll (Connie Rudy) explaining the new salary system and trying to alleviate some of the confusion over the first salary pay day.

Since last week we have received a number of phone calls regarding our first pay under the new “Annualized” system. Because the new agreement came into effect on May 1st, 2008 we were obligated to pay everyone under the old payroll system until April 30th and begin paying under the new system effective May 1st. As this was in the middle of a pay period, the first pay under this system was pro-rated and cut off on May 8th. What this did to the annualized earnings was to pro-rate it for 8 days out of the 14 that would normally be in a pay period. Unless we had altered the pay ending structure and changed the dates that everyone is paid, there was no other way to handle it. The next pay that cuts off on May 22nd will be a full 14 days and will balance to the pay statement that you received in the mail at the beginning of last week.

At the end of the 2008-2009 contract year there are an additional 7 days from this year’s annualized salary that will be paid (April 24-30/09). They will be received as part of a full 2 week pay cheque – 7 days of which will be under this year’s annualized salary and the remainder which will be using the 2009-2010 annualized salary. This pay period will cut off May 7, 2009 and will be received by employees on May 14, 2009.

If you have any further questions regarding your pay, please contact myself, or Krista (7808).


Thursday, 15 May 2008

May Forward Look

The May Forward Look is up and can be found here. I have tried to make it a bit more readable on screen and still printable. I will continue to work on ways to improve as time allows. You will see that I have eliminated the two column format which works in a printed publication but creates unwieldy scrolling up and down the screen if you are reading it that way. I am trying to create a look similar to blogs but that will still be fairly readable if you do print it out.

My thanks to Mike Hoodikoff for the suggestion. I welcome any other suggestions that will make the online experience better.

In solidarity,


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

May Forward Look Submissions

Just a reminder to everyone that if you have an article for May's Online Forward Look it needs to be in my email no later than Friday, May 9th so I can get it ready for the Executive Meeting.


In solidarity,


Monday, 5 May 2008

May Meetings

Following are the meeting dates for May.

Shop Stewards Meeting - Monday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.

Executive Meeting - Monday, May 12, 6:00 p.m.

General Meeting - Tuesday, May 20, 7:00 p.m.

Please note the change of day for the General Meeting.

Tim Thompson
Recording Secretary

Friday, 2 May 2008

A4 Start Up Update

On Thursday May 1st A4 was finally making paper and had the sheet on the reel at about 7:30 in the evening after a huge effort by the Maintenance Crews and our Brothers and Sisters in Local 686. The day was full of little glitches that were addressed as they appeared. Unfortunately the calender stack had a hydraulic problem early Friday which forced the machine down for most of the morning. All in all it was a very successful startup and the machine will be on grade today.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A4 Start Up Tommorrow

Number 4 Paper Machine is scheduled to start up tomorrow morning and hopefully be making on grade directory soon after start up. This achievement is the culmination of countless hours of work and many sleepless nights by the Wage Delegates of Local 592. A lot of the decisions were extremely tough to deal with as they went against some very basic principles of our local, but you the membership made the ultimate decision that we must do things very differently if we were to secure a future.

The start up of A4 is only one aspect of the ultimate goal. We now have to make it a safe, long term and viable future as a 2 machine operation by assuring that this operation remains to be the low cost producer for the markets that this mill caters to.

Every single person in Local 592 is to be commended but particularly the shift workers who have sacrificed the most to achieve this new agreement. It seems that every time there is a cost cutting initiative, the shift worker takes the hardest hit, and it is true. Unfortunately the shift workers are the highest cost labour. And also the demographics of our local make our labour costs higher as well. The Day Workers actually sacrificed very little in this agreement and perhaps should realize that before they complain about not getting their entire vacation entitlement when they want it. That would be a very small price to pay by any shift workers standards. I'm sure as we go forward there will always be differing opinions on weather we did the right thing or not, but right or wrong, we have committed to try to make this work and I can only hope that each and every one of you will help by doing your part.

Tomorrow is cause for celebration and reflection on where we might have been if we had done nothing at all.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 18 April 2008

2008 Committee Elections

Nomination and elections for the 2008 Committees will be held at the April General Meeting @ 7PM on Monday April 21st. These elections were delayed from last January so that we would have all of the retirements and severances complete. Please come out and run for one of these committees. Some committees are appointed and these will also be announced at the meeting.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

From the President

So far it’s been an extremely busy month and it’s only going to get busier as we near May 1st. We held the first of two information sessions for all members in the first two weeks of April. These sessions were held in order to provide some clarity and a mutual understanding of the key items in the new agreement. We also attempted to answer any questions or concerns you may have and also using this opportunity to address any issues on items that we didn’t think of before. I believe all of the sessions went fairly smoothly and some very legitimate concerns were raised. The next set of information sessions will address those concerns and will be more specific to each department and crew. As I have said to most of you, if you are in opposition to the agreement and the future of this mill please don’t stand in the way of those that want to make this work.

If you have visited this blog site then you should be aware of the temporary problem with the new payroll program and the ability to properly assess each member for National Dues, specifically shift workers on the 5 shift schedule. The people building the new program did say that the problem should be fixed by the end of June. In the mean time you may not have national dues deducted from your pay for the first two months but it will be reconciled in July.

At last month’s General Meeting we were scheduled to hold nominations for the Trustee’s position made vacant by the retirement of Dal Gulstene. Again we did not have a quorum so the position will be filled by appointment. There’s not much more a person can say that hasn’t already been said about the importance of our members getting involved in the business of Local 592. It is your choice what direction this local takes in the future, but if you choose not to get involved and not to give the Executive some direction then please don’t bitch about where we end up at the end of the day. It is YOUR union and it will work for you if you want it to. Get involved and come to a General Meeting and make yourself be heard.

On May 1st the new agreement will be fully implemented and you will be doing your job very differently than in the past. What ever the specific tasks may be in your job, they must be done safely. As this whole new process evolves you may be trained to perform tasks that you have never done before. Your safety is the first concern before the importance of completing any task. Please don’t get hurt.

Pete Rayburn

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

No Forward Look

Due to extreme busyness (that's always a good excuse) there were no articles submitted to the Forward Look this month. The President has been quite busy lately with the information meetings and didn't get time to complete his article. I've been busy making the transition back to shift work and working extra shifts to get my training completed before May 1 so I didn't get to an article this month.

However, this blog will continue to be updated.

Click here for the agenda for next Monday's General Meeting.

Just a reminder to all retirees that the Semi-Annual Retirees' Get Together is on April 18 from 10 AM to 1 PM. This announcement is also in the sidebar.

In solidarity,


Thursday, 10 April 2008

National Union Dues

We were informed today that the design for the new payroll system does not yet have the ability to properly assess and deduct the National Union dues for those of us on the 5 shift system. They are working on a solution and I have been assured that this part of the program will be up and functional by the start of July. You may notice that these dues will not be deducted from your pay for May and June but it will be deducted in July for the previous 2 months once the system is functional.

Pete Rayburn

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Steam Plant Posting

STEAM PLANT - Control Room Engineer
Department: Steam Plant
Rate $31.54/ Knowledge rate $34.10
Date Issued: Mar. 27, 2008
Date Closed: April 3, 2008

Successful candidate must hold a 3rd class Power Engineering certificate. The Control room Engineer will be in a job rotation with the Assistant Shift Engineer.

Those interested should complete a transfer form available in the Human Resources Department.

All necessary training for the above will be provided.

Open to Local 592 Employees Only

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

John Vezina Memorial Gathering

As many of you may not be aware, long time member and past president John Vezina passed away late last week. John was one of the longest serving presidents in local 592 and was a wealth of knowledge and experience that we will dearly miss.

There will be a memorial gathering at Hansen Hall on Saturday March 29th @ 1PM to 3PM.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Enhanced Severance Offers Concluded

The Enhanced Severance Offer has been concluded. All 592 Members that applied received the enhanced severance package for a total of 33 people and a total cost of $1,472,625.16. Obviously there are insufficient funds to carry on to the next step (further retirement packages). The seniority date required to be recalled to the mill is now May 8th 1984. This date may be adjusted by 2 positions in the future due to a shortage of ticketed people in the Steam Plant. The date may move up to April 30th 1984 if the Steam Plant is successful in their attempts to hire two ticketed people.

For all those that accepted the enhanced severances, I wish you good luck in your future endeavours.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 21 March 2008

Local 592 WCB Advocate / Officer

We are currently seeking a local 592 member who may be willing to step up to the plate and take on the duties of our WCB Advocate. Jim VanDusen is currently covering these duties but is finding it a little difficult to find the time necessary for the job as he is still employed at Crofton. All training is covered by the Local and most of it is done out of our Western Region Office in Vancouver. If you have any questions and may be interested in taking on these duties please get in touch with me. Cell # 731-6852.

Pete Rayburn

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

First Aid Certificate Premium

As per our new agreement:
  • Any employee who holds a valid OFA Level III ticket will receive a premium of $.50 /hour (provided the position they are working does not require it). The Company will pay the tuition and book costs of the training (1/2 up front, 1/2 upon successful completion). No wages will be paid during this training.

Any member of Local 592 that falls under this clause, please provide Krista Tremblay with proof of your OFA Level III ticket so that it may be calculated into your pay.

Pete Rayburn

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


The semi-annual Retirees' get together is happening in April.

When: April 18th
Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Come for Coffee and Pizza!

This announcement is also posted in the sidebar and will remain up until after the get together.

A4 Start-up Information Sessions

Local 592 Wage Delegates and Catalyst Management will be holding Information Sessions prior to the A4 start-up on May 1st. There will be 2 sessions for every employee, the first to take place in early April and the second will take place just prior to start-up. Session one will be approximately 4 hours in duration and will cover off such things as:

Rationale Behind the New Agreement

  • Why we chose to change
  • where we plan to be in our future
  • A4 + A5 (2 machine solution)

Detailed Review of the Terms of the New Agreement

  • specific items for emphasis and/or clarification
  • handout of new payroll template, shift schedule, etc.
  • invitation for questions on all items

The second session is also scheduled for 4 hours and will cover:

  • Ramp-up and specific Department Targets
  • Key aspects of Start-up Plans (dedicated manning, procedures etc)
  • Roles of Supervision and Crews
  • Departmental Duties and Expectations
  • Communications

We are encouraging everyone to attend these sessions. We want to try and answer any questions you may have and aleviate any doubt before we head into the full implementation of this new agreement. Like the agreement or not, all of us have to be on the some playing field and pulling in the same direction if all of this is going to work.

Pete Rayburn

Monday, 17 March 2008

General Meeting Tonight - March 17th

Just a reminder to the membership that the monthly General Membership meeting is tonight at 7:00 p.m at Hansen Hall.

See you there!

In solidarity,


Saturday, 15 March 2008

To All Retirees Leaving April 1st.

A concern had been raised about some confusion over the "Life" option that some of you may have opted for. If you are not completely sure or satisfied with your option choices, please phone the office at the Hall and leave a message for Linda and she will get back to you next Friday.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

March Forward Look

The March Edition of the Forward Look is up. Just click here.

And don't forget the General Meeting on Monday March 17th at 7:00 P.M.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Forward Look Articles

With all that is going on lately, I just wanted to throw out a reminder that the deadline for March Forward Look articles is Friday, March 7. Please send your article to my gmail address ( by 4:30 on Friday. Adding Forward Look in the subject area will ensure that I know it's an article.

Articles sent via my Catalyst email will not be accepted.

In solidarity,


Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Roughly Estimated Lay-off Line for Operations

After the completion of the Retirement Package offerings, a bare bones estimate of where the lay-off line is at this time looks like to be around mid January 1984. An official lay-off line will not be determined until after the Enhanced Severances have been spoken for. Again this is just an estimate not taking into account any relief numbers that may be required.