The recent news that the Board of Directors will not be deciding on the CER until February 12th is extremely disappointing. To say that I'm frustrated is a huge understatement. The future of our members as well as our possible retirees remains unsure, at least for another 2 weeks. Some members have stated that the unsigned agreement has already been violated by not adhering to the original dates for the acceptance of the retirement packages and that should be cause to withdraw the proposed agreement. That may be so, but there is a lot more to this agreement than just the retirement packages. There are the people that will still be working in this mill under this agreement with the security of a long term, viable, 2 machine operation if this CER is approved. These are the people that are giving up the most by way of discretionary time off for shift workers, 5 shift system, banked overtime etc. in order to achieve those packages.
In actual fact, the specifics of the agreement are still intact. Implementation of this agreement is not until May 1st. The offer on the packages is still intact. There is not a lot we can do to influence the Board to expedite this process. Its time to start focusing on the membership as a whole and not just those that want to retire. Everybody has a very big stake in this agreement.
We have invested too much time and work to walk away from this now.
To quote Local 686 President Brother Roy Plotniko:
"The delay on the Board of Directors decision is extremely disturbing. Local 686 will be watching the events as they unfold very closely, as we approach and reach the proposed February 12th 2008 Board of Directors meeting.I will arrive in Vancouver from Kamloops on the morning of Feb. 11th 2008. In Vancouver I will stay awaiting a decision from Catalyst on whether or not they approve the "Two Machine Configuration" and the future of our mill. I will have communication open with the employer and the local 24/7.
I will not come home to Port Alberni unless I have a decision for you.
The local has been waiting far too long for this uncertainty to end. I thank you for your support and most of all your patience.
CEP Local 686 President.
Brother Plotniko and myself will be attending the Board Meeting together and we will have a decision for both of the Locals.