Brothers and Sisters,
We met with the company yesterday, September 6 regarding the ongoing curtailment. We asked about an October 1st start-up and the company is hopeful but will not commit to that date due to the ongoing poor pulp market conditions, and high fibre and energy costs. We will continue to press this company for a start-up date.
The Section 54 which was filed with the LRB is still ongoing. We are asking for punitive damages and a ruling is expected in December.
We are meeting with local MLAs, the Forestry Minister, the Labour Minister, and the Mayor of North Cowichan to get answers as to why they curtailed a month after getting a 20 million dollar investment, and to help us get some clarification for our members and the community. This curtailment has not only affected our membership but the community as a whole. The government has a meeting with the company next week to address our concerns.
Some members have been given the opportunity to work in Port Alberni. The Union and Catalyst Crofton have no input on wages, live out, seniority, travel expenses etc., there is no contractual language for this gesture from the Port Alberni Mill.
To date, we have only met with the company once since June after repeated requests from the union. The union will inform members when we have official information from the company only, not rumours or hearsay.
We understand that these are trying and unprecedented times, please know that the union is doing everything we can, and we share your frustration.
Geoff Dawe, President
Mike Hearsey, First Vice President – Maintenance
Keith Malvena, First Vice President – Operations