As we bring this year to a close and start another, we all hope the road ahead is much brighter and the disasters that we faced with the mill fires, deaths and mill closures will not be repeated. In the New Year we will be having wage and contract meetings in each of the operations in the primary Forest Industry. Each operation will be electing a delegate for the Wage and Contact Conference and will be compiling their demands. The Interior Wage and Contract Conference will be held in April, in Kamloops. It is the first formal step towards Collective Bargaining and renewing our Agreement for 2013. Our members have been to hell and back since 2007 and during the span of the agreement everyone has faced some tremendous challenges with job loss, shift reductions and reduction in overtime, affecting wages and yearly take home pay. We have been going through some of the most difficult and challenging times facing our industry.
We are hearing much from the membership on demands for the next round of bargaining and rightfully so, traditionally we have always been on par or ahead of the pulp industry for our wages, but in our last couple of negotiations that gap has widened. Members have said that not only do we have to have parity, but we need to have parity plus. One of the more important steps is for the employer to start hearing the same message in the workplace. Negotiations will no doubt be difficult, but we strongly believe we are heading into positive market conditions for 2013 and beyond and it’s our turn to make some gains that reflect the sacrifices that our membership has made to save this industry from further demise. We need your support and your voice as negotiations near and the message to employers should be clear” It’s our turn and our time”.
Our Mining negotiations continue and we are hopeful to have a first agreement in place at Quintet Mine in Tumbler Ridge early in the New Year and negotiations with Endako Mine in Fraser Lake are at the early stages of negotiations.
As we move forward please follow our web site as we continue to provide a wide range of updates and information of benefit to the members.
Have a Safe and Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.