Wednesday, 9 December 2009

December Forward Look

The December Issue of the Forward Look is now online. Read it here.

In Solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

November Forward Look

UPDATE: The final version is now up.

Here is the final run of this month's Forward Look. Jim's article is now included.

There are three articles up, plus the agenda for this month's meeting on Monday night. Just a reminder that Monday night is nomination night and there are a number of positions up for election (including mine as I will not be running this year).

Hope to see you there.

In solidarity,

Tim

Friday, 6 November 2009

November Meetings

My apologies for not having gotten this up earlier, here or at the mill site, but the dates for this month's Executive and General meetings are as follows:

Executive: Monday, November 9th, 6:00 PM

General: Monday, November 16th, 7:00 PM

Business:
  • Notice of Motion: Bylaw amendments re: Executive changes.
  • 2010 Executive Nominations

Thanks,

Tim

Friday, 16 October 2009

October Forward Look

The October Forward Look is up. You can view it here. The Agenda for Monday's meeting is on the final page.

Tim

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

CEP Press Release

Press Release
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

CEP Frustrated by Moving Goalposts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2009

CAMPBELL RIVER – CEP members in Campbell River are frustrated by the latest attempt by
their employer, Catalyst Paper, to blame the workers for the dismal state of the pulp and paper
industry.

“What we need is to find solutions for an industry in trouble,” states CEP Local 1123 President
Ian Simpson. “Catalyst seems to think that they can overcome fibre supply and market issues by gutting our collective agreement. We know that there has never been an operation saved when the workers give concessions.
“Catalyst is proposing a massive reduction in wages and benefits but has no suggestions for how
to find better operating solutions for the mill,” continues Simpson. “We have made several
major proposals to Catalyst on reducing labour costs in a variety of ways. Despite the fact that
we have met their stated goal of an $80 per tonne cost structure, Catalyst has now asked for an
additional 40 to 45% reduction in the pay package of our members.”

“What is most upsetting to us is that Catalyst is asking these two locals to cut the throats of their
Brothers and Sisters in other Catalyst operations,” states National Rep Mike Fenton. “If they
were to accept this agreement, Catalyst will permanently shut down another operation. It’s no
secret that they are aiming for a two mill operation.”

“The most frustrating part of all of this is the moving goalposts,” continues Fenton. “We have
been meeting with the employer off and on for months. Once the Locals achieved what the
company had asked for, they would change their position and made more dramatic demands. No
matter what was achieved, it was never enough for Catalyst. It is time for the entire industry,
provincial and federal governments to get together and address the issues that are destroying this industry rather than attacking workers.”

CEP represents 120,000 members from coast to coast in energy, paper, telecommunications,
graphical, media and assorted other industries.

For more information contact:
Ian Simpson, President, CEP Local 1123
Mike Fenton, CEP National Representative

Monday, 10 August 2009

Dog Days of Summer

The summer doldrums seems to affect all kinds of things, like the Forward Look. There will be no Forward Look this month since there were no articles submitted.

However, there is an advertising poster for a Union Night with the Whitecaps that you can view by clicking on the link. If you're a soccer fan and you're going to be in Vancouver on September 18th check it out. This event is a United Way fundraiser and $4 from every ticket will be donated to the United Way. Tickets are $15 and are a $21 value. So, not only a good deal for Whitecaps fans, but you can also help out the United Way drive.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

July Forward Look

The July Forward Look is now up. It is a fairly short version. A printed edition will be going into the mill later this week (I think).

Click here to view or above.

One note. The google site that I have this files stored in keeps saying that they will eventually migrate to a new google site. I don't know how this will affect the links so anyone notices that the links no longer work, please let me know and I'll do my best to fix them up. The transition may be smooth but I'll have to wait and see.

Thanks and hope everyone is enjoying this great summer.

In solidarity,

Tim

Friday, 12 June 2009

June Forward Look

The June Forward Look is now online. Find it by clicking here.

Please note that due to the fact there was really only the one article, we have not published a print version this month.

Don't forget the General Meeting on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. We will be dealing with some important issues.

Thanks.

Tim

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Western Region FYI - May 18

This weeks edition of the Western Region FYI can be viewed here.

Western Region FYI - May 18

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Court Rebuffs Forestry Giant

After tonight's General meeting, Steve Smith approached me with a newspaper clipping of the following article that he thought would be of interest to everyone. It is titled Court rebuffs forestry giant and the original can be found here. Here is what the article says:

Court rebuffs forestry giant

Insolvent AbitibiBowater Inc. must abide by its collective labour agreement and allow its unionized workers early retirement with full benefits, a Quebec Superior Court Judge ruled yesterday.

The Montreal-based forestry giant's decision to unilaterally suspend a new provision of the collective agreement that improved its workers' pension plan is "illegal," Justice Clement Gascon said in a ruling.

"This ruling sends a clear message that collective agreements must be respected" during bankruptcy protection proceedings, Gaetan Menard, an executive with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, said.

During contract negotiations, Abitibi-Consolidated, which in 2007 merged with Bowater, signed an agreement with the CEPU that would allow employees with 20 years of service to retire at age 57, instead of age 58, with full pension benefits. It also increased slightly the company's pension-plan contributions.

For their part, workers agreed to contribute another one-half per cent of their salary to the pension plan from May 1.

The company,under bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada, is not appealing Gascon's ruling.

AbitibiBowater, which argued in court that it could not afford the cost of the new provisions as it seeks to restructure, had already begun taking those extra deductions from its employees, the court heard last week.

"The term double standard comes to mind," Gascon told the court while giving his reasons for the ruling.

About 200 Abitibi workers had informed the company they wanted to take early retirement, as early as May 1, the court had heard. On April 27, their union was informed by an e-mail that the company was suspending the pension improvements and those workers had the option of returning to work.

Monday, 18 May 2009

General Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that this month's General Meeting is on Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00 pm not on Monday as normal.

See you Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

May Forward Look

The May edition of the Forward Look is online here. A print version will be available in the mill later this week.

Additionally, please note that the General Meeting is on Tuesday next week (May 19) not Monday as usual. This is due to Monday being Victoria Day.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Important: Shop Stewards Meeting Cancelled

Important Notice: The Shop Stewards scheduled for Monday, May 4 has been canceled. This is due to the need for an emergency Executive meeting to discuss some issues that cannot wait for the following week.

The emergency Executive meeting will be at 6:30 p.m.

Thank you to the Shop Stewards for your understanding in this matter.

In solidarity,

Tim (on behalf of the President)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

April Forward Look

The April Forward Look is now online. You can view it here.

I spent some time preparing the print edition so that it looks better and that should be out tonight in the mill. The online edition this month is identical to the print edition, partly because I am out of time since I have to work night shift tonight and partly because we have several contributions this month. Since it is designed to be printed it will also look better if you want to print it out for your perusal.

I have stuck to the single column format since that does make it easier to read online (no scrolling back and forth).

As ever, your input is appreciated.

My wife just read it and noted a couple of mistakes (taking great glee in catching me in them) so they have been corrected in the online edition but not the print edition. My apologies.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Executive Meeting Change

Just a note for any Executive members that Jim has not been able to contact. The Executive meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has been postponed until Wednesday night at 6:00 PM due to the meeting in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Tim

Letter from Garneau

Our president and all the other presidents of the locals that represent Catalyst workers received the following letter from Richard Garneau, CEO of Catalyst. Jim has asked me to post this so the membership can be informed what Garneau is asking. In short, Catalyst is asking us to forego the wage increase scheduled for May 1, 2009.

The timing of releasing this on the blog was driven in part by the fact that Kim Pedersen emailed a copy of the letter that was addressed to Jim to all the supervisors in the mill. This was done before Jim had a chance to contact the executive. Jim was waiting until we heard if there was a meeting set up or not before communicating all of this. It is my opinion that this is a serious breach of protocol by Pedersen and Jim has spoken to him, with little response, and I think we will be pursuing this further.

There is a meeting set up with all the other locals next Tuesday in Vancouver to discuss the issue involved and your wage delegates will be attending.

The body of the letter is copied below and you can view the pdf of the letter here.

April 6, 2009

Mr. Jim Van Dusen
President, Local 592
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (via email)
Union of Canada
Port Alberni Division

Dear Jim,

I am writing to ask for your help in providing Catalyst every opportunity to emerge from the current economic crisis with the financial strength necessary to be successful in the future. Over the last several months we have worked together to find ways to reduce our labour costs in order to become more competitive. We appreciate the effort that has been made in developing plans and overcoming challenges to achieve our $80 per tonne objective. This objective is paramount as our competitors continue to reduce their costs. As we indicated many times, the low cost mills will emerge from this recession/depression while higher cost mills will be casualties. It has been hard work done in good faith by many in the worst market environment anyone can recall. Unfortunately, the market situation has continued to deteriorate well beyond what many believed possible as print continues to move to electronic media, daily newspapers file for bankruptcy protection and advertising expenses shrink. Demand has declined for every product in every market as shown in the table below and it is our belief, supported by widely accepted industry perspectives, that the situation will continue to worsen.

(Note: There is a table here in the original that did not translate well to the blog so I removed it. See the original here. - Tim)

Clearly we need to continue to look at every opportunity to reduce our cost through this difficult period. A number of actions are already being implemented to help reduce our costs and to conserve cash including:
• Curtailment of production
• Freezing of non-union salaries for 2008 & 2009
• Continual focus on reducing SG&A
• Restriction placed on travel
• Reduced staff positions
• Municipal tax reduction
• Reduced training and consultant budget

Despite our collective best efforts, more must be done to ensure we have the strength to build our future. It is in this context that I respectfully request you seek the approval of your membership to forego the wage increase scheduled to take effect May 1, 2009. I would appreciate your response to this request as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Richard Garneau
President & Chief Executive Officer

Obviously, something of this magnitude has to be discussed with the other locals so we can formulate a joint plan that will be brought back to the membership.

I am going to close comments to this post due to the sensitivity of this request and the need to discuss it with the other locals first. Thank you for your understanding.

In solidarity,

Tim

Sunday, 5 April 2009

April Meetings

My apologies at being so late getting this up. A pdf of the meeting dates for April can be found here.

Shop Stewards - Monday, April 6th, 7:00 PM.

Executive - Wednesday, April 15th, 6:00 PM. NOTE: This has been changed from Tuesday.
***Note change of day due to Easter Monday Stat and Vancouver Wage Delegate Meeting***

General - Monday, April 20th, 7:00 PM.

Also, just a reminder that Forward Look articles need to be sent to me sometime in the coming week. Please send them to my Gmail address and not my Catalyst email. My Gmail address is available in the sidebar of this blog.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Monday, 23 March 2009

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Western Region FYI

At the recent Caucus meeting we were informed that the Western Region will be putting out a weekly communication letter. I asked if it was okay to post it on the blog and was told it would be fine so here it is.

Western Region FYI

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Posting Comments

Once again another reminder. If you would like to post comments on this blog please provide your name or your comment will not be posted.

Thanks.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

March Forward Look

The March Forward Look is now online. View it here.

Also, a separate pdf of the Agenda for Monday's General Meeting is here.

In solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Notice of Motion

A motion was made at the General Meeting on Monday night that will be dealt with at next months meeting. A pdf of the motion can be found here.

The Notice of Motion reads:

That we change Article 1, Section 6(a) from

“Fifteen (15) members excluding Executive Officers shall constitute quorum at a meeting of this local union:

TO

“Eleven (11) members excluding Executive Officers shall constitute quorum at a meeting of this local union.”

Motion moved by Owen Paxton

Friday, 13 February 2009

February Forward Look

The February Forward Look is now online. You can find it by clicking here.

There was only one contribution this month so it is an abbreviated edition. Also, because there was only one submitted article it was decided that we would not put a printed version in the mill this month.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

February Forward Look Articles

Just a reminder that the deadline is approaching to get your Forward Look articles in for February. The Executive Meeting is Monday so I need them no later than Sunday night so I can print it up for Executive review.

Thanks.

Tim

Thursday, 29 January 2009

February Meetings

The Meeting Notice for February is online.

Meeting times for February are:


Shop Stewards: Monday, February 2nd, 7:00 p.m.

Executive: Monday, February 9th, 6:00 p.m.

General: Monday, February 16th, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

EFAP Services

Kelly Sasaki has just emailed me the latest EFAP Services information. I have put a link to it in the sidebar so it can be readily accessible.

January Forward Look

The January Forward Look is up. Just click on the link to read it.

There has been some requests and discussions about returning to a printed, abbreviated Forward Look for distribution in the mill. Since there is a motion on the books to take the Forward Look 100% online, it requires a motion to go back to a printed edition. With that in mind there is an Executive Recommendation that proposes a trial period until June of an abbreviated Forward Look. This would be in the order of a 4 page edition featuring only submitted articles and not any of the extras found in the online edition. We will be dealing with this motion, and several others, at the General Meeting on Monday Night. In addition, we will be electing committees including the Safety Committee. So come on out and let your voice be heard.

In solidarity,

Tim

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Pattern Agreement Link

I've added a link in the sidebar to the Canfor Pattern Agreement. I know many are interested in just what the agreement says and there was a link to it in an earlier post but for some reason I never got it up in the links section. So now it is. (It is a little over 5 mb in size so it will take a few seconds to download.)

Tim

Monday, 5 January 2009

January Meeting Dates

Here are the meeting dates for January.

Shop Stewards: Monday, January 5th, 7:00 PM.
Executive: Monday, January 12th, 6:00 PM.
General: Monday, January 19th, 7:00 PM.

Business: Elections of Committees.

I hope to have the yearly meeting dates up soon. I just haven't had time over the holidays to get to it.

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas season and my wishes to all of you for a happy 2009.

Just a reminder that Forward Look articles are due no later than January 9th.

In solidarity,

Tim