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,