The Local Union has met with the new owners of the mill on three different occasions over the last few months to discuss issues such as; plans to rebuild, seniority retention, permanent plant closure, etc.
As you can imagine, the issues are complex. We have to ensure that the Collective Agreement remains in place and is followed both now and going forward, all while trying to achieve some interim assistance for our members that could be seen as being outside of the Collective Agreement. And at the same time, trying to ensure that Industry does not view such payments as precedent-setting initiatives.
Although there was no agreement to extend seniority retention beyond the terms of the Collective Agreement, through cooperative discussions with the company they are providing a significant “benevolent payment” to all members at Hampton (formerly Conifex) Ft. St. James.