CEP 1123 Online
VP Coles Attends Special Meeting ...
Plenty of Questions - Not Many Answers...
As most of you know we had a Special Meeting on May 23rd with brothers Dave Coles and Bob Hughf in attendance. We invited them and offered them an opportunity to give their explanation for the CEP 470 Agreement to our membership. We had an excellent turn out from our members and I would like to thank everyone who came and expressed their opinions of the Agreement.
Brother Hughf gave everyone an overview of some of the history of contractors and the Code of Ethics in the Pulp & Paper industry. For me it was nice to see that in some aspects both Bob and Dave at least now have a partial understanding of what the Code of Ethics means in our Collective Agreements because it was quite apparent at Wage Caucus they had no idea what the language meant. They certainly did not alleviate any of the concerns from the membership that this deal will have a negative impact on the Code of Ethics.
The feeling from the membership was quite strong that this is bad deal for everyone concerned. There was a lot of frustration over how the deal was developed and the fact that it did not involve any on the Catalyst locals input or opinions. I think it is safe to say given the reaction from all the Catalyst locals that happened intentionally. There was definitely a lot of anger over the potential impact this is going to have on our members from both the trades and labourers. It is nice to see that people are taking the time to understand the impact this could have on them and the union movement.
Both Dave and Bob explained their positions and reasons for the agreement and tried to alleviate some of our concerns and fears of the whole deal. I don’t believe they were able to achieve that as many of our members still believe that the deal is bad for both our local and the trade union movement. Dave consistently answered all of those questions with "I don’t believe that but you are entitled to your opinion and only time will tell who is right". He believes the deal is good for our local, the CEP and the union movement and that over time we will all see a benefit from this agreement. I am not so sure and I only hope we all have the chance to still be employed under decent collective agreements while watching how all this develops over the years.
The great thing about the union movement is that we don’t always have to agree with what the leadership tells us. If I know only one thing, it’s that this local will continue to fight to protect the members in local 1123 & 630 no matter what inferior agreement is signed with any union or non union group. The sad thing is we may not have any friends left in the trade union movement if Brother Coles and Hughf keep undercutting our brothers and sisters in the union movement.