We are nearing the end of a very hectic year and as this Local gets more and more involved within the community and keeps growing, it really makes this office extremely occupied and busy. Unfortunately, this year, we had a record of grievances that were sent to arbitration taking its toll on the committees and this office because of the time needed to get ready for them. The good news is most have been settled and our workers are happy with the results.
On the property and trust side of this organization, we completed our campground expansion to 150 camping sites and we had a few weekends where we were totally full. The word is going around in the community and within the camping associations about how great your campgrounds are as well as the fact that we already have 5 weekends where we have no vacancy for next season. Thanks to everyone for helping this vision come to fruition.
This Union is currently preparing for the completion of 2 health care units that are still in the negotiation process. Our Provincial Government freeze on public workers wage increase makes it extremely hard to negotiate a fair and reasonable deal. We are confident that it can still be achieved.
Next year will be a very busy year for the Local as we will be negotiating 9 different units starting with our largest unit – Xstrata Nickel. Our goal with this unit and the other 8 is to ratify new collective agreements without having labour disputes.
As always, we are always looking at assisting employers in securing our members futures and an example of that is the development of the next mine called Onaping Depth Project and recently I was underground at Craig Mine to see the development of this project and am happy to report that the project has started underground which is great to see. I will be visiting the project every 6 months and reporting on its progress as we advance toward our new mine that will create about 300 jobs for our future.
As a representative of this great Local, I have the duty of attending an assortment of different functions. Recently, I had the privilege of attending 2 great events. First, the ceremony in Valley East where one of our longest serving (past) President, Emile Prudhomme was receiving the Medal of Diamond Jubilee for his outstanding work within the community and for his members it was an honour for me and this Local to witness this celebration. Our Local was also recognized for our effort in supporting and promoting the fundraising efforts by our employees at the Sudbury Finnish Rest Home Society Inc. where millions were raised for the opening of 82 new supported living beds for our needy seniors from our community and 60 jobs for our members.
In an effort to continue the fundraising effort for SISU, I will be co-chairing on a new project where we will raffle a brand new Harley Davidson bike and at the same time, raise funds for a charity within our community.
As a follow up from my last newsletter on the creation of our new Canadian Union, I am happy to report that the final steps were accomplished last October when the Delegates of CEP (Commercial, Energy, Paper) also voted to join with CAW. This new Canadian Union will have over 325,000 workers across every industry sector across Canada which will happen at the National Convention on the August 31st, 2013 weekend. The next step is the creation of the new constitution, policy and of course, coming up with a new Canadian name.
As you can see, the President’s office is extremely busy, but I can still be reached on my cell phone, if needed. Do not hesitate to call, however, I would like to encourage everyone to see the leadership at your respective work places if you need assistance. They are trained in dealing with matters and can offer you the assistance you need.
In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone during the upcoming festive season, to please celebrate whole-heartedly, but please refrain from driving if you are drinking.
On behalf of myself, my office and my family, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
With respect always,
Yours in Solidarity,
Richard Paquin, President
Mine Mill Local 598/CAW