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