June 17, 2013
The local Union is pleased to report that bargaining has started for the Primary Forest Industry. Our interior bargaining committee, which consists of President's from the Cranbrook, Kelowna, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George Locals, met with the Employer Associations; West Fraser and Canfor, for the exchange of proposals. Once that was completed your committees met and decided that Canfor would be the one for us to commence negotiations with first to set the pattern for our 11 thousand members in the interior.
We have bargained this week and will be returning to the table the later part of next week. It is far too early to predict how quickly things will move along, but it is fair to say that the parties are moving through the process at a faster pace than they have in the past. We have a date set for July to continue working towards an agreement to replace the one set to expire on the thirtieth of June of this year.
Bargaining with Endako mine is grinding slowly along. We have yet to conclude our non -monetary issues. As you may know the employer has been under heavy financial stress with the increased costs for the sister Mount Milligan Mine opening. However, the wages for our members are considerably out of step with other mines in the Interior We will be asking for the assistance of a mediator to assist the parties.
The NST program is entering the final months however; members can still access the program until the end of August. Over 600 members to date have utilized the benefits of the program, particularly those entering to prepare for the apprentice pre-tests. Over 50 members have completed or are in the process of completing the apprentice tests. The success rate for these members has been 100%. When you consider many have failed in the past this is a real achievement and demonstrates with a little help, our members can move forward and fill the many vacancies for trades in our operations. Growing our trades from within makes senses and assisting those interested in achieving success ensures we have members in these positions with years of knowledge, which is a major benefit to everyone. I encourage you to talk to our members about the benefits of this program and visit the local website for updates and success stories submitted by those that have taken part.
With the summer season upon us we hope everyone has a great time and is able to have a vacation. During this time we at the Local Union can not envaisize enough the importance of playing it safe as we go about summer activities.
It is not always about how you are driving, but keep in mind and stay alert for the action of others on the roads.
The officers hope you have great summer!