Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
NEWS RELEASE · 18th July 2012
CAWLocal 2301
The Union has called for a “Strike Vote” to be held over two meetings on Thursday and Friday this week – July 19th and 20th in Kitimat.

Your Negotiations Committee requires a strong mandate from you the Membership if we are going to achieve the best possible contract.

There will be two meetings held as follows:



FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012

All members are urged to attend one of these very important meetings.

We need your support Now!
Thank you Apoc.Now
Comment by James Ippel on 24th July 2012
Thank you for your comments on the negotiations with RTA.
I was under the impression that when RTA first entered into the Kitimat Expansion there were 1600 employees and after competiion there would be 1000. There would be no layoffs, rather this figure would be attained thru attrition and retirement. Now the figure is 850 (Union) and 699 (RTA) Which one will be settled on in the end? Does the employee sincerely believe that he/she can tell the employer how to operate their business? Technology improves over time, and maybe the employer will require fewer employees when all is said and done.
One thing we must all keep in mind is that there was a lot of opposition to RTA selling power on the open market and the Dist. of Kitimat spent millions of dollars fighting this in court and losing in the end. They demanded a remodernization of the existing facility, making it more environmentally friendly, which they achieved, but at a cost of many jobs and millions of dollars annually.

Final comment: no one has answered my original request of What was the question on the strike vote ballot???????????????????????????????
Yes James ...
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 21st July 2012
You are correct James ,my comments were mainly directed at Clay.You at least asked a question, he made a statement basically claiming that unions are only useful at turning business away. .... That comment was insulting to me because I believe strongly that we have reached a point where unions are becoming very important again. James , let me refresh peoples memories first. I am not sure if you ever read or heard the comments Paul Henning made during our last round of negotiations 5 years ago. He publicly stated that to get a new Smelter, RTA needed a new power sales agreement a positive environmental assessment and a 5 year long contract with its union. It manged to meet all 3 conditions. He also stated at the time that the new smelter would have a minimum of 850 hourly employees and a good chance of closer to 1000. Fast forward to May 2012, negotiations hadn't even started and the company circulated a letter stating that the new smelter will employ 699 hourly workers and the promise of 850 employees ended with our present agreement . So to put it in a nutshell , the Union has received a strike mandate that if RTA doesn't come through on their commitment to protect the jobs they promised to get the modernization agreement ,the members are willing to go on strike to make sure they RTA keeps up there end of the bargain. I hope some of you anti union people don't consider this unreasonable. Its about protecting jobs for our kids and future generations.
Nice comments
Comment by James Ippel on 21st July 2012
Isn't it wonderful that we live in a free society, and can express our opinions freely.
Unfortunately, there are those who must post insulting comments about others and enter into name calling if their point of view is different.
Maybe Apocalypse Now would be so kind as to state the issues that the RTA employees are facing. From his post I can only guess that he know the issues so he should let the rest of us know.

PS Still wondering what the question of the Ballot is????
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 20th July 2012
It is wonderful news that the Union has voted by an overwhelming margin to give our executive the mandate to strike. Hopefully now RTA . gets the message that they will be held accountable for the promise they made to the town of Kitimat and the members of CAW.that if they are not willing to maintain the jobs they promised to everyone, as a condition to remodernize, we are willing to go on strike.
Comment by Sean O'Driscoll on 20th July 2012
There is always the misconception that a "strike vote" means that if a majority of the members vote in favor the result is a guaranteed work stoppage. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, a strike vote is more appropriately called a "strike mandate vote" which means that if a majority of the members vote in favor (FYI - 96% voted in favor) the Union is then in a legal position under the Labour Code to serve the employer with 72-hour strike notice ahead of the expiry of the contract (i.e. the membership has given the bargaining committee the mandate to serve the strike notice while working towards a new collective agreement, and to only declare a strike if absolutely necessary).
The strike mandate also sends a clear message to the employer that if a deal is not reached when the collective agreement expires the membership is prepared, if necessary, to walk off the job.
The CAW has a long-standing bargaining practice of conducting "deadline bargaining" which means that if there is no tentative agreement at the expiry of the contract a work stoppage will commence, which is why the strike vote is called at least 72 hours before the contract expires.
Contrary to what some may believe, deadline bargaining puts pressure on both the employer AND the Union to get an agreement without a labour dispute. The history of this practice between CAW 2301 and, as they then were, Alcan, speaks for itself. The CAW has represented the workers at the Kitimat smelter since 1994 and all contracts have been settled at, or only a few hours past, the July 23rd midnight deadline. I am hopeful that this set of negotiations will be no different.
As for the vote and the ballot, these are done in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Code, Section 60.

who needs Unions
Comment by started at the bottom on 19th July 2012
I keep forgetting that it is out of the goodness of the companys heart that we have a decent living wage, 40 hour work week, a safety program and medical benefits. I dont understand why the Union has to have a strike vote, I am sure if the workers just asked nicely, they would get what ever they wanted.

Please sir, could we have some more?
Another thing Clay ...
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 19th July 2012
I will make you a deal Clay , You don't assume that CAW2301, doesn't have the best interest of the region in hand and I wont assume that just because your name is Clay, you are a toothless banjo playing redneck OK?
hey Clay!!!!
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 19th July 2012
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You don't know the issues obviously. PS let rio tinto move the kemano power house and dam is staying. If you are going to make a comment at least elaborate , You anti union types make me sick.
Union activism
Comment by Clay Harmon on 19th July 2012
It seems that the union wants to see more business move elsewhere...

Lets see how many jobs we can scare away from the North with union activism!
Curious Me.....
Comment by James Ippel on 19th July 2012
Just out of curiosity I would like to ask what will the question on the Ballet will be?

1. Do you want your Bargaining Committee to continue acting on your behalf? Yes or No.
2. Do you want to go on Strike? Yes or No.

Dose anyone have the answer?