Negotiations are now well into Package #2 dealing with non-monetary demands. We started our first round in this package almost two weeks ago and as planned we stopped to deal specifically with the Kemano demands while Perry Minaker, the Kemano rep, was in town to take part.
Negotiations on the Kemano demands continued for a little over one week and several issues were resolved. As per our Protocol agreement those Kemano issues which involve costs have been moved to Package #3 for final resolution. Late last week we finished the first round on Package #2 and the Union took Thursday and Friday to prepare our responses for the meetings which began Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.
Our committee has been in constant discussions with the National and has been receiving the latest financial information pertaining to RTA and the aluminum industry. Much of this information will form the basis of future bulletins as we get closer to Package #3.
There have been questions raised regarding the process that will be followed during this set of negotiations. The Union wants to be clear that we will continue to follow the same process as in past negotiations. At some point, yet to be determined, the Union will call for a strike vote. The strike vote is a legal requirement to determine that the majority of those affected favour a strike. Once the strike vote is conducted, the Union is in a legal position to strike with the expiry of the current CLA. The Union must serve the Company with 72 hours notice of their intent to strike in order for the strike to be legal and this same requirement is in place for the Company should they chose to lock us out. As in the past, our Union’s plan is to negotiate to the deadline on July 23rd at midnight and get the best possible agreement for our members.
Our commitment to the membership is to bring the Company’s final offer to the membership for a vote and along with that, our committee will make their recommendation to the membership one way or the other. In the event that the Company doesn’t give the Union a final offer by the deadline, we would assess our options up to and including taking strike action.
Once again, as stated in previous bulletins we are at the table to negotiate a new collective agreement moving forward. There are always going to be challenges given the world economy and more specifically the aluminum market but there are also incredible opportunities and no reason why our membership shouldn’t share in the good fortune of RTA.
Issued by CAW Local 2301
June 28, 2012