RESOLUTE SAGA
CONTINUES!

I was finally able to return to work in January after serious health issues while at the International Convention in Las Vegas in April 2017. I thank my Local Union, staff and membership, District 6 and the National and International for the compassion and care that was shown to myself and my family. 
We are very grateful for the financial and moral support we received. The thoughts, prayers and well wishes were overwhelming and deeply appreciated, and no doubt aided in my recovery.


I am extremely grateful and honoured to be able to return to servicing and working on behalf of my Sisters and Brothers, my second family.


I also wish to thank Brother Jason Lacko for his outstanding efforts in serving the membership in my absence.


Since my return it is of no great surprise to find that Resolute Forest Products has not changed their ways, making their long-term employees’ lives as miserable as possible. Over the years these Brothers have agreed to assist the company in reducing their production costs, numerous times and in a variety of ways, in exchange for their “protected status”. This was to mean they were the last to be laid off and the first to be recalled. They are employed directly by Resolute. 


In this case they are the only ones laid off. Other Resolute contractors continue to hire and expand. Fairness out the window.  


This latest fiasco began on November 19th, 2017 and continues at the time of this writing. The 45 members were laid off. Their contractor apparently decided that one of his companies (Marcri) was not profitable enough, so he took his equipment to his other operations and left these guys unemployed. 

Thus far Resolute has done very little to get these guys back to work, except to assign some occasional work to supply the same contractor under a different name with workers, essentially a spare board. This is far from fair to their employees, our members, all of which have provided this employer and its’ predecessors with 30 plus years of dedicated work.


Resolute’s solution?  Provide an early retirement package. Twenty-four guys took that offer. The other twenty-one by and large remain laid off or are working elsewhere.     


We are beginning the arbitration hearing May 9th, with likely more dates to come to settle this matter. We expect to be successful.  


The Resolute agreement expires at the end of October. Members employed by the Company or the contractors should know it’ll be a tough road to achieve a fair and just agreement with this employer. Just like it is a challenge to get them to live up to what they have agreed to in the past.  


On another unfortunate note, it is discouraging to report that North American Lumber, a building supply company with which we had a lengthy bargaining relationship (well over 50 years), has decided to close their doors in Thunder Bay. The membership had dwindled to just 2 delivery members. The 10-12 inside workers who were members of the UFCW also lost their jobs. It is a loss to our community and the workers to lose this long-established company.


Bargaining is set to begin at Unitized Manufacturing in the next little while. Their agreement expired on April 30th. The membership has realistic expectations in this round as competition is increasing in the truss business locally.


In reviewing my report, if it seems negative, it’s not deliberate. There have been successes as well, but space doesn’t allow a complete report. We are always hopeful that things will improve and that the next report will be all good news. 


The only tangible way to achieve good news is to make it. Keep up the struggle; we have a long way to go in creating a just society for all. 


In closing I want to wish the entire membership a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer. Hopefully the fish will bite more than the black flies.


In Solidarity;
Bruce Frost

NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS AND ONGOING NEGOTIATIONS IN CENTRAL SECTION OF THE LOCAL

White River:

There is a new Collective Agreement in place at WRFP. The parties have reached a tentative agreement on March 22nd, 2018 and this agreement was ratified by the members on March 27th, 2018. This is a five (5) year agreement with increases in wages and benefits that follows the pattern agreement set in Cochrane. Some language has been changed in a couple of Articles, especially in the vacation and grievance procedure Articles.

 Hornepayne:

As per the last round of negotiations with the Company, the Hornepayne operations are connected directly with the outcome of the White River negotiations since it was agreed that all Articles and increases negotiated in the Memorandum of Agreement between WRFP and the Steelworkers Local 1-2010 would apply to the Hornepayne Lumber Collective Agreement. Therefore changes are going to be made in the Collective Agreement to reflect what was agreed to with WRFP. The parties are discussing the changes that are going to be part of the new agreement.

Nakina:

The Nakina sawmill has restarted its operations since February of 2018. The Local is actively working towards getting a new agreement for the workers at this facility. We are not getting any cooperation from the Company in this matter, as they were not responding to our correspondence in regards to negotiating a new agreement and  by helping an employee Association in meeting with the employees in Nakina with the intention to convince their employees to go and be part of this Association. That is why the Local has been very active in meeting with the workers. We applied for conciliation in order to convince the Employer to come and sit at the table and negotiate a new agreement. We have been successful in scheduling some negotiating dates in June, therefore more info in the next bulletin on the Nakina situation. 

 Lecours Lumber:

New Collective Agreements in both the sawmill and woodlands operations at Lecours Lumber Co. Ltd. At the sawmill, a 4 year agreement was reached on April 25th, 2018 and ratified by the members on May 6th, 2018. This pattern plus agreement follows the pattern agreement that was agreed to in Cochrane, with a few more gains in allowances and benefits are going to be in effect earlier during the Collective Agreement term.

An agreement was reached also with Lecours Lumber Co. Ltd. Woodlands on March 14th, 2018 and was ratified by the members on March 18th, 2018. This is a 4 year agreement, with wage increases of 2, 2, 2.5, and 2.5 percent per year, with increases also in benefits.  

RYAM Lumber Inc.

We have a new Collective Agreement at RYAM Lumber Inc. in Hearst (formerly Tembec Entreprises Inc.). This agreement was reached on April 5th, 2018 and was ratified by the members on April 15th, 2018. This new agreement follows the agreement that was negotiated at the RYAM Lumber Inc. facility in Cochrane, with some minor differences in Local issues.

 We are still in negotiation with the Company in the woodlands operations, therefore more info in the next bulletin.

Hearst Community Living

Negotiations have started with the employer on May 24th, 2018 and are still ongoing. More info in the next bulletin.

Hearst Farmers Cooperative

Negotiations have started with the employer on June 4th, 2018 and are still ongoing. More info in the next bulletin.

HEALTH & SAFETY

Local 1-2010 Health and Safety Council meeting:

Two (2) members of our Local Health and Safety Council have attended the USW International Health, Safety, Environment and Human Rights Conference in Pittsburgh, PA., from March 26th-30th, 2018. Sister Sylvie-Valérie Denis from Canadian Blood Services in Sudbury and Brother Trevor Shaw from Gateway Casino in Thunder Bay, accompanied by Brother and Local rep. Jacques Jean, did attend the Conference and several workshops during that week. All delegates have found the Conference to be very informative and interesting, and Sister Denis and Brother Shaw were very pleased with their experience in attending the Conference. 

I take this opportunity to wish everyone a good summer. Stay safe.


In solidarity;
Jacques Jean

BUSY YEAR AHEAD

WITH NEGOTIATIONS

Canadian Blood Services

Earlier this year we met with the membership to elect a negotiating committee and take their demands for upcoming negotiations. Sister Francoise Lecours and Sister Donna Llewellyn were both elected to represent their membership this round of negotiations. No dates have been scheduled to meet with the employer yet but we should be able to report on these negotiations in our next Union Echo. 

Tembec Cochrane Sawmill Operations

There is a new Collective Agreement for our members at the Tembec Cochrane Sawmill Operation, now called Ryam Cochrane Sawmill. This new 4 year agreement has a 2% wage increase for each year of the Collective Agreement and a lump sum of $1,000.00. There are also increases in the boot allowance, tool allowance, shift differential, Life Insurance and AD&D, Short Term Disability coverage, Long Term Disability coverage, Dental coverage, Vision Care, Pension Plan, as well new language to cover a 7 day 24 hour operation on the kilns should there be a major modernization and investment for a new kiln at the Cochrane sawmill facility.

Rockshield Engineered Wood Products in Cochrane

Due to the financial hardship of the Company, the parties have agreed to rollover the Collective Agreement until January 1, 2019. 

Tembec Chapleau Sawmill and Co-Gen 

Both the Tembec Chapleau Sawmill and the Tembec Chapleau Co-Gen are ready for negotiations. I met with both operations earlier this year to take demands and we are waiting for dates from the employer to start negotiations.

  As you can see we have been very busy this winter in negotiating new Collective Agreements and we have another very busy year ahead of us. 

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone and their family a very safe and nice summer. 

In Solidarity;

Eric Carroll


UNITY AND STRENGTH 

FOR WORKERS

Hello everyone, after a long winter it’s nice to see summer is just around the corner. 

Resolute Sawmills

Scheduling at the sawmills has been difficult this winter. Ignace Saw has seen the weekend shift disappear for the second year in a row. The new schedules of rotating days off have not been ideal for all members who work them. The Company has reduced production by 16 hours per week with the new schedules. Resolute management has stated that this schedule would be indefinite. At the time I wrote this report, what had been planned at the Resolute Atikokan site for commencing the third shift in the sawmill was put on hold until further notice. The Atikokan site has also stopped the weekend planner shift and is now running their entire production shifts on rotating days of 10-hour shifts Monday to Friday as well. The Union has filed multiple grievances at both sites. Atikokan grievances consisted of suspensions for lock out violations; some were unjust and others were not. We have also been successful at reversing some unjust disciplines. Ignace has seen multiple grievances consisting of scheduling, apprentices, health and safety concerns, unjust terminations and contracting out, which will be arbitrated in July. The memberships at both sites have been proactive in keeping the Company accountable. The Union is in the process of planning membership meetings. I would like to remind all members to take the time to come out and voice concerns or let your grievance committees know what they are doing right.  Membership meetings are your time to ask questions and become educated in what has been happening around our Local. 

The Local has introduced the member orientation course. Our first course here in the western part of the Local was delivered in late April. All indications from the participants was that it was a great course and offered a lot of information regarding our structure and where your dues go among many other topics that members want answers to. The Local will be looking at organizing another member orientation course sometime in the fall. Location to be determined.

Dallan Ignace and Atikokan 

The Union had filed a grievance regarding Personal Emergency Leave days that has since been resolved. Any members at these two sites that may have been absent under the rules of the new legislation should contact their steward if they have not been paid or their floater or floaters have not been returned. The Company was issuing the use of a floater with members’ permission while they were seeking a legal opinion regarding the payment of the leaves provision under the ESA. Dallan Ignace and Atikokan have expanded operations adding new machines to help in the material handling process. These operations have also been affected by the change of operating hours and the elimination of the weekend shift but have seen no layoffs.  

Gateway Casino 

The transition is complete from OLG to Gateway. The Company currently still has many issues regarding scheduling, paystubs and ESS systems. We have been working with the Company regarding these issues. The installation of the new GMS has been overwhelming for many of the workers. Marketing has seen a huge increase in patrons searching for help. The kitchen and servers seem to be busier now with the extra comps being handed out. We are looking at each department regarding hours of work and having the right compliment of employees for each department. We have submitted and resolved grievances pertaining to benefits and scheduling. During the production of this report Gateway has announced that they will be reducing hours of operation across all their properties. We won’t know how much impact this will have until we meet with the Company. The hope is that the impact will be minimal. The new hours of operation have been reported to be 9am to 2am, 7 days a week. Previously the casino was open 24 hours per day from Thursday to Monday morning. 

The Local’s convention that was held in Hearst in April was very successful. All participants arrived on time and made it back home safe and sound. If anyone has questions regarding the convention they should contact their delegate(s) that were sent from each individual site. 

Play safe and enjoy the weather! 

In solidarity;

Jason Lacko

NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION COURSE

The New Member Orientation Course gives members explanations on the history and structure of the Local and the United Steelworkers, what happens to their dues, the Union’s role and responsibilities, organizing, what’s a grievance and a complaint, worker’s rights, duty to fair representation and politics. 

The Local trained six instructors to deliver this new orientation course. The first member orientation course was held in Kapuskasing on March 8th and 9th, 2018 with 11 participants and the second was held in Thunder Bay on April 26th and 27th, 2018 with 8 participants. All of the participants had positive comments and agreed that we need to get more members through this program. This is why your Local intends to do a member orientation course once or twice a year. It’s our responsibility as leaders of this Local to continue to educate our grass root members so that they understand their rights and the need for a strong engaged Local.