Brothers and Sisters:
There have been a number of issues over the last few months that have raised the frustration level of the membership. When these issues are raised to management the response has been less than accommodating and in actual fact they have been met with contempt and mistrust.
You would think with the new plant coming and the chaos that is happening on the operating side of the plant that the Company would be more open to resolving issues, not adding fuel to the fire.
The Company is not following the Joint Heath and Safety Program:
• They don’t follow the investigation standard. There are time limits, involvement requirements and methods of investigation that need to be followed but the Company chooses not to follow them. There are currently over a hundred investigations outstanding.
• They don’t follow the inspection standard. There are requirements for them to have an inspection plan in place monthly, including who is to carry out the inspections as well as ensuring that corrective actions are done in a timely manner.
• They don’t follow the S.A.F.E. program. This program was put into place to help in facilitating people coming forward after an incident or an accident without the fear of repercussions that would jeopardize their employment; it also helps in getting all the facts during an investigation so we can develop good corrective actions to prevent a reoccurrence. They have made the decision not to follow the S.A.F.E. program and use formal discipline which has driven reporting under ground because of the fear of repercussions.
• They don’t follow the vehicle inspection standard. We have been told that things get reported to the supervisor over and over but the vehicle is still left in the system where the actual requirement is to have the vehicle taken out of service. We had situations where vehicles that have been tagged out have been towed back into service without the vehicle being repaired.
• They don’t follow the meeting standard. Safety meetings not being done and area OHS&E meetings are being canceled, with the Company refusing to reschedule these meetings.
• They don’t follow the hygiene standard. We have had the Company fail to inform employees when they are over exposed, not involving reps or employees in the recommendations and not following up on the recommendations.
• They don’t follow their own area standards. In a bulletin put out on Sept. 1st the Union listed a number of times where the Company had not followed their own Safety Standards to the point the Union had raise the issues to the Org. meeting and Work Safe BC because it had put our members at risk of serious injury.
The plant is in a state of chaos:
• Broken, leaking pipes throughout the plant.
• Floor grills failing and falling into the basement.
• Coolrooms and lunchrooms that are over exposing our members to carcinogens.
• Too many contractors that are working on site that don’t follow or have circumvented our standards.
• Co-activity violations.
• Cranes that have issues lifting and placing loads.
• Members that have been manipulated to work unsafely.
• Repercussions if you go to first aid.
• Members being disrespected.
• Drug sniffing dogs in Kemano.
• Contempt for Union reps.
• Focusing investigations on blame.
• Structural failures on crane run ways.
• Contracting out.
The Union is working towards resolving these issues through whatever legal means we can and through whatever agency possible for an expedited resolve to try and bring stability back to the plant.
Meetings with the President and Vice President are being held this week with senior management in order to get our safety program back on track immediately.
Last week the Company hired a private security firm to go into Kemano. The security firm used dogs to go into the employees’ accommodations searching for drugs and/or firearms without reasonable cause. This is an attack on our members’ rights to privacy and is being dealt with very seriously by this Union.
Management has responded with comments like you are just pushing the “easy button” by going through outside agencies to resolve issues.
That type of comment just shows the immaturity of management towards its workers when it comes to our grievances, health, safety and general well being. The Union will do whatever is necessary to respond to the Company’s inaction and to resolve our grievances and to protect our health and safety.
Sticking together and fighting back will make a difference!
Issued by CAW Local 2301
November 21, 2011