USW Announces Changes in Leadership
International President Leo W. Gerard, Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson and
Vice Presidents Carol Landry and Jon Geenen Stepping Down
BC INTERIOR USW WOOD COUNCIL 2009
IFLRA Chooses to Final Offer USW Committee Instead of Negotiate
USW Locals 1-417, 1-423 and 1-405 spent May 15th and May 16th at the bargaining table attempting to negotiation in good faith with the IFLRA to conclude a collective agreement for the Southern Interior forest industry.
Tolko Questwood Announces Permanent Closure
“USW Members at Questwood in Quesnel, were dealt a devastating blow on May 10th when Tolko announced the permanent closure of that operation which will be taking place in August”, said Local President Brian O’Rourke.
USW Local 1-2017 Bargaining
West Fraser Williams Lake Planer
Following the rejection of the Memorandum of Agreement reached with CONIFER by the USW membership at the West Fraser – Williams Lake Planer; The USW 1-2017 Bargaining Committee met with West Fraser along with the spokesperson from CONIFER on May 6, 2019 in Williams Lake.
Dear Conifex Partners,
As you know, we continue to face an unprecedented combination of continued fibre supply challenges in the BC Interior and low lumber prices.
B.C. Government opens New Inquiry into 2012 Forestry Mill Explosions
Steve Hunt was never satisfied with how the agency responsible for protecting workers in British Columbia conducted itself when two sawmills exploded in the span of months, killing four workers and seriously injuring dozens more.
USW Local 1-2017 recently concluded the ratification votes for thirteen (13) operations covered by the CONIFER Memorandum of Agreement reached February 13th in Prince George. Four (4) of the operations have rejected that proposal for various reasons.
As most of you know, we have not sent a letter out for awhile. The reason for that is we have not had anything new to say on when we can expect our money to be paid.
The last court date was held on February 25, 2019. I am told that discussions are still on going with Revenue Canada to provide some information on outstanding tax issues.
A Tentative Agreement was reached for Canfor Polar, Chetwynd and Plateau on February 19th, 2019. It provides a fair wage increase to our membership, significant improvements to benefits and contractual language, see below for details;
The tentative agreement reached with CONIFER in Prince George on February 13, 2019, provides a fair wage increase to our membership.
After one day of bargaining with Canfor Polar and Plateau Sawmills in Prince George on January 23, 2019, as well as one day with Canfor Chetwynd two weeks prior, we have now reached impasse with all three independent Canfor mills.
At the request of the IFLRA, your bargaining committee returned to the table on January 15, 16 and 17 in Kelowna BC. Despite what can only be described as a frustrating 3 days, your committee continued to work diligently towards concluding a fair collective agreement.
Prior to the break, Canfor, representing the three northern mills – Chetwynd, Polar and Plateau, applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for a ruling on the USW’s recent strike vote of 95% among the three mills that the strike vote and 72-hour notice was illegal.
Your USW Bargaining Committee continues to work hard for the unionized Forest Industry membership in USW Local’s 1-405 (Cranbrook); 1-417 (Kamloops); 1-423 (Kelowna) and 1-2017 (Prince George and Southern Cariboo) to achieve a fair collective agreement.
The United Steelworkers has successfully resolved the long-standing random drug and alcohol testing issue at Teck Coal mines in southeastern British Columbia, winning a landmark decision that forced Teck to stop its testing program.
The USW Bargaining Committee, representing the USW Locals 1-417 (Kamloops), 1-423 (Kelowna), 1-405 (Cranbrook) and 1-2017 (Prince George), including 2600 members in the south region and 2000 members in the north region, booked out provincial mediator Dave Schaub late Friday night after talks broke down between the two parties.
Unfortunately, due to complications involving necessary documents not being issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in a timely manner, the Union is unable to say exactly when distribution of funds will be made to former Wolverine Mine (Walter Energy) employees.
The USW Bargaining Committee, representing the USW Locals 1-417 (Kamloops), 1-423 (Kelowna), 1-405 (Cranbrook) and 1-2017 (Prince George) and the IFLRA, representing southern interior forestry employers, have agreed to mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board following the inability to agree to a new collective agreement after the groups’ 4th bargaining session that ended last week on Thursday, November 1st.