The Special Steering committee meeting held on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010, comprised of Union Shop Stewards, OHS&E Reps, and other Union committee reps, gave clear direction to the Union Executive. The Company’s LEAN program is a program designed to reduce good Union jobs and increase Contracting Out. There is nothing in the Company’s LEAN program that helps our members.

Safety pre-shift meetings need to be kept separate from the Company’s LEAN program. Article 20 of the CLA – Safety, Health and Environment – should not be mixed with LEAN.

If our members wish to sit at pre-shift meetings, which were jointly agreed to as safety meetings, then by all mean sit down as if at a safety meeting. The Company is disrespecting our Union members by telling us when to stand and when to sit. Enough is enough!

The Company is making our members stay past the safety pre-shift meeting - which they can. We can sit as adults and listen and hear what they have to say. There should never be a threat of discipline because our members choose to sit. The Union Executive supports our membership to sit, we are not refusing to work.

If the Company wants to talk to the Union about LEAN then they should follow the CLA: “1.3(a) The Company recognizes the Union as the Exclusive Collective Bargaining representative as to rates of pay, hours of work, or other conditions of employment, of all its employees for whom the Union has been certified.”

If any member is disciplined for sitting while attending a pre-shift meeting the Union will go to arbitration at which time the Company can explain to the arbitrator why sitting at a safety meeting is an offence deserving of discipline. The President of CAW Local 2301 will also ask council for the employer why the Company doesn’t ask the arbitrator to stand as the only thing the current President has heard from the Company so far is the Company believes its employees will listen better and pay more attention if standing. A note has been made of the management person who made this comment on behalf of the employer. He will be the first witness the Union puts on the stand at arbitration.

Issued by CAW Local 2301 November 18, 2010