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.