We continue to face ongoing process disruptions as we attempt to keep moving forward. Things which have never seemed to be a problem in the past are being made into issues by the Company requiring time and effort to resolve.
In the past the Company’s focus has generally been to reach a new collective agreement and to this end they had an interest in working together with the Union to achieve this. The difference this time around, so far, has been a Company which seems more interested in creating road blocks where ever they can, causing us to react and have to expend valuable time going back and forth arguing over the history and/or legal interpretations of small procedural matters.
The approach our committee has and will continue to take is that the real goal here is a new collective agreement for our members. We want it to be very clear to our members that we will continue to focus on our goal and not let petty matters distract us.
The Union Negotiations Committee is now at the point where we will meet face to face with the Company next Monday, June 4th. Leading up to this point, we finalized the Housekeeping package and as of today we will have taken the packaging as far as we can, with any outstanding matters to be discussed during face to face.
We have been in preliminary discussions with the Company to work on a concept for a new grievance procedure. As previously stated, we feel that the current system requires an overhaul to ensure that our member’s grievances are heard in a timely manner and ultimately get before an arbitrator a lot faster than what we currently have. A sub-committee had been discussing this concept to find common ground to save time at face to face bargaining. On Thursday the Company withdrew from this process, which in the Unions opinion was premature and will put an extra burden on the timeline the parties have to negotiate an agreement by July 23.
Our National Pension expert has received instruction from our committee and is in discussion with her Company counterpart to make sure they understand what we are proposing in our demands. These individuals will be present down the road when we begin to negotiate our pension and retiree demands.
On Wednesday the new Union Executive was sworn into office. In the terms of ongoing Union representation, during the negotiations process the Union Hall will be staffed by Jose Pires covering for the President and Cliff Madsen covering for the Business Agent.
The Negotiations Committee will be putting out another bulletin next week that will include a breakdown of all the demands on the table for Package 2 - non-monetary.
Issued by CAW Local 2301
June 1, 2012