Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sapping our energy

Sapping our energy - By Neil Waugh, EdmontonSun
Canadian Natural Resources Limited is now predicting its workforce at the Horizon oilsands project will “ramp to between 5,000 and 6,000” by the middle of next year.

A deal signed with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union which will see construction workers airlifted in from Quebec.

Old "King" Coles

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Screw Driver

In the "I wish I'd thought of that" department, this graphic was submitted yesterday:

with this text: "many Elk Falls employees were observed wearing this sticker on their hardhats"

On a further note, CMAW EST (or Mr. President as he is known on Kingsway) Jan Noster showing up at Local 2300's union meeting last night and volunteered to answer some rather pointed questions about the direction our union is going. When asked by this erstwhile reporter whether or not affiliating with CMAW is good for our Local considering that it is the Allied Hydro Agreement that fills out our dance card, His Nibs responded with true presidential candor: "Well, Doc, ya know, that depends on what your definition of is is." After several hours of such good-natured banter the general consensus reveals we seem to be stuck in some weird limbo between the nearly moribund (but not legally dead) BCPC, the much ballyhooed but lately reviled CMAW and what is revealed as our next incarnation as automatons in CEP 3000.

I explained to CMAW 1995 Prez Randy Smith, who was also present at our meeting, and who did not appreciate some of the comments that are posted on this weblog and assumed I gleefully preview each and say "oh boy, here's a good one, let's put it on the blog" - that no, comments do not go through me, they are automatic and while I can remove them (and do admit to being biased), I do not censor comments or edit articles other than my own. I did give him a specific example of a comment that would be removed should it appear, but hope that the majority of our members will remember the oath they took upon joining our union: "to be charitable in judgement of our brother and sister members."

CEP VP Dave "King" Coles is an exception of course, and a deserving target for revulsion and satire as he has muddied the union waters, meddled in our affairs and divided our union for his personal aggrandizement and is as bad as McCarron for denying the members a voice.

fraternally, dave livingston, CMAW Local Unit 2300, elected warden BC Carpenters Local 2300 and member CEP Canadian Freelance Union

Monday, July 17, 2006

Old Guard - Glorious Failure

Don "AirMiles" MacNeil and Dave "ill Jong" Coles celebrate their Glorious Failure of saving pulp mills on the backs of the workers.

Meanwhile Josh Coles pens the following words in his "Great Leap" Report on Organizing for the BC Carpenters Convention that was - suprprise - cancelled:

Instead we need a major policy shift and massive structural changes directly focused on addressing union retention and union recruitment.

We do need to plant seeds for the future but, more importantly, we need fresh bodies, coming into and staying with our union.

Inform members of their Local Union's attrition rate, so as to blunt their opposition to drawing in new members.

Open doors further to non-union skilled workers who may not have "tickets" but can excel with non-union contractors.

In heavily non-union areas, pay a large bonus to a member (e.g.: $500) for recruiting a new skilled member who completes a year of membership.

Develop "industry poaching" techniques outside of construction. Focusing on skilled worker layoffs - such as in the pulp and paper industry, for example - brings in high quality skilled members.

The strategy of our union engaging non-union and CLAC contractors in meaningful and value-added relationships through top-down organizing is a concept being proven in BC and Alberta today. For the past six years we have reported to Convention that we should try this approach, and this past year we took the leap with JVD Mill Services and others.

graphics and commentary by Doc Livingston, founding member CEP Canadian Freelance Union

Thursday, July 13, 2006

2006 BCSC 1033 Haggarty et al v. Heisterkamp et al

click for full text: 2006 BCSC 1033 Haggarty et al v. Heisterkamp et al
Haggarty et al. v. Heisterkamp et al.,
[17]            The test for an interlocutory injunction having been met, the question that remains to be determined is the scope of the injunction, in particular its temporal scope.
[18]            The plaintiffs ask for an injunction pending a trial of this action.  But that asks too much.  A trial of this action could easily take place as late as three years from now.  If the injunction were to endure for that length of time it would interfere with the defendants running for office again.  It would assist in the further deferrals of the annual convention, and that, legitimately, is of great concern to the defendants.  In my view it would not be right to preserve the status quo for that length of time since it would, in effect, provide the plaintiffs something to which they are not entitled under the Union's constitution.  That is not the purpose of an injunction.  Further, that would not serve the interests of the parties and most importantly the Union membership who are entitled to have their Union governed by the rules of their constitution.  The availability of summary trial is not an answer to this since the case might or might not be one appropriate for summary trial.
[19]            On the other hand, I do not have in front of me a cross application by the defendants for a mandatory injunction requiring the plaintiffs to call an annual convention.
[20]            I conclude, therefore, that the appropriate temporal scope of the injunction should be four months.  The time required to requisition and hold a convention is, I am told, three months.  Four months allows this to be done with a one month margin of safety.  It also provides sufficient time for other motions to be made to this Court, if necessary, such as one for a mandatory injunction if the convention is not called.
[21]            Accordingly, the requested injunction is granted, but it is to expire at midnight on October 22, 2006.
[22]            Costs shall be in the cause.

“E. Myers, J.”
The Honourable Mr. Justice E. Myers

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

CEP 1123 Report: "So Screw JVD and to hell with CEP 470."

1st Vice Presidents Report - June 2006
1st Vice Report

Click on the CEP Logo to Return to CEP 1123's Home Page

June 2006

I too would like to thank all those that took the time to attend the May 23rd special meeting, including Brothers Coles, and Hughf, who were here at the request of the membership to explain their actions and involvement in the "Pulp Fiction Agreement" between JVDriver and CEP 470.

The meeting began with Brother Hughf giving a thorough recount of the history leading up to the development of our Code of Ethics language including a lengthy slide presentation outlining the CEP / CMAW strategy to rid the BC Pulp & Paper sector of CLAC, after which the floor was opened for questions. Speaker after speaker, some more colourful than others, brought up legitimate concerns about the JVD agreement. Won’t our maintenance and labouring workforce slowly be replaced by less expensive contract employees? Won’t the Company stockpile work for JVD to do on shutdowns? Won’t this lead to a travelling road show?

Not to worry, said Brother Coles. "We have a commitment from Catalyst that Article 25 of the CA is unaltered and continues to be in force", the words sliding off his tongue so smoothly, it was apparent he had been practicing this sell job for quite some time. "It’s your collective agreement and it’s up to you to enforce it", he concluded.

Brother Coles assurances that having JVDriver as the "contractor of choice" would ultimately result in less contracting out rang hollow with those in attendance. "Bullshit" was the response I recall hearing most frequently. Many of the crowd still remember the Company’s lines in 1998. "Flexibility won’t mean a downsizing of the maintenance workforce, in fact it will result in less contracting out and more work being performed by our own crews". Yeah Right – how’s that working out around the province?

Personally, I started to get a little bit of satisfaction when Brother Coles finally admitted that the JVD agreement does have an enabling clause in it. "But, we will only use it to enable up" he said. "It wouldn’t make any sense for us to enable down"

Somewhere about half way through the meeting, Brother Coles realizing that there wasn’t anyone in the hall naive enough to buy any of what he’d been pushing started answering questions with "We’ll agree to disagree, and then in a few years we’ll see who’s right".

In the end people stopped asking questions. Coles & Co left town. Some members left, feeling a little better having had the opportunity to vent, but most continued to feel as they have all along, that we’ve been screwed by our own Union.

One of the only things I agreed with from their presentation was the wording on brother Hughf’s final slide which concluded – "It’s our work and our future". By that I mean - CEP1123’s work and future, not CEP 470’s or JVDrivers. Our local is the one certified to perform all the maintenance and repair work on the Elk Falls site and we will take whatever steps necessary to ensure it stays that way. So Screw JVD and to hell with CEP 470.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dave "Pulp Fiction" Coles has become the tired old face of Canadian corporate unionism...

The Pulper - (from the June 2006 The Pulper, CEP Local 1129 in PDF format)
Campaign in Construction
Just below is the text of a bulletin received from CEP Western Region Vice President Dave Coles. He has asked that we send it along to members.

It should be noted that both of the events reported in this bulletin are causing a large amount of comment, much of it negative, among building trades unions in BC and Alberta. The Pulper doesn’t have the time or space to analyze these developments in this issue, but watch for more on this in future issues.

blog note: the text of the bulletin referred to above can also be read here

Coles Stepping Up, As Payne Steps Down?
Members to Choose CEP Convention Delegate(s)
Brother Brian Payne, who has been CEP national president for six years, has announced he will not be seeking re-election. CEP Western Region Vice President Dave Coles has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for the top spot. Which means that other members (traditionally all national reps) will be vying for the VP job.

blog note: the following was part of an article posted at a Local 592, CEP. Port Alberni, B.C. weblog relating to Coles' "Pulp Fiction" Survival Agreement
Tim Thompson - Viewpoint: Forward Look Article - April 2006
"The best thing that could happen would be for a better candidate to run against Dave Coles at the Constitutional Convention in the fall. Hopefully a good candidate will step forward and be successful."
and this is currently posted at CEP 1123 Online:
VP Coles Attends Special Meeting ...
Plenty of Questions - Not Many Answers...
"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."
PPWC letter to Dave Coles, CEP: "Dear Brother Coles;
PPWC Local #2 Executive and Membership are absolutely in shock and awe that you and some of your supporters would stoop so low and undermine both CEP and PPWC Labour Agreements. In your quest to grow your membership you formed CEP Local #470 and signed on to a much inferior contract."