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Unit Chair Report - March 2009

Good News

After the review process and the VERI offers, we will have six employees permanently recalled (one from the review and five from the VERI offer).

The jobs of the employees that retired will be posted at the sites and once the internal process is completed (about a month), employees will be permanently recalled by seniority to the vacant positions. Any further vacancy due to employees quitting, retirement or growth, will be posted internally as per our collective agreement.  At the end of the posting process, the unfilled position will be offered to a laid-off employee.  He or she would be recalled to that spot by seniority.

Overall, considering the magnitude of the lay off and bumping process, there were very few issues.  Results of the review process (as per our collective agreement) have resulted in the following issues being looked at and rectified:

  • One employee improperly on layoff has been recalled. (smaller payroll number)
  • One Employee from Mill transferred back to Nickel Rim South.
  • One Employee from Mill improperly transferred, sent back to Smelter.
  • One employee improperly classified as Miner “B”, changed to Miner “A”.
  • Three welders have been recalled in the Smelter because of improper budgeting.
  • One Diamond driller posting is being posted at Nickel Rim South.
  • Two stationary engineers transferred between Mill and Smelter.
  • Reviewed Mill entry jobs – Process Helper and Process Utility.
  • Reviewed Smelter entry jobs – Shift Process Helper and Utility Person Day Crew l.
  • Posting for Welder at Nickel Rim South.
  • Posting for Welder at Mill.
  • Posting for mason at the Smelter.

The process review also identified that the jobs in the Mill and Smelter, challenged as possibly being an entry level position, cannot be done in the 30-day time frame, as per our collective agreement, therefore no one will be recalled into those positions.

The recall list and seniority list should be updated by the end of this week and available next week as we just completed the review of all the bumping last Friday.

Fraser Morgan Project:

Last week the Company reaffirmed that they have no intentions of re-opening Fraser Morgan for at least 1 to 1 ½ years (if they do).  So the chances of being recalled in the near future lies with the current work force expanding or people leaving and creating vacancies. 

Skilled Trades:

The Union believes in seniority as the paramount of all issues.  If an apprentice that would have been ending his apprentiship shortly, has enough hours to write his final government exam and passes, he/she is now a qualified tradesman.  They can bump a junior tradesman in that trade at the workplace provided he or she have the seniority and that the Company has been notified of this change in their occupation before the layoff of June 3rd, 2009.   The Company has stated that they will not allow this to happen, therefore we are evaluating what our next option will be.

General News:

  • 28 people have severed their ties with the Company and have taken their severance pay, most of them have very little seniority
  • 43 employees are eligible to retire by the end of this collective agreement.

Laid Off Employees -Emergency/Short Term Recall:

As of June 3rd, 2009, employees on layoff will be required to submit their names to the Company if they would like to work on emergency/short term temporary work.  A letter will be sent to the laid off workers before June 3rd, 2009 for them to submit their names if they want to work on these temporary recalls after June 3rd, 2009.  This will not affect the permanent recall.

Until June 3rd, 2009, the Company is calling workers from the main lay-off list who would like to work with the contractors on the projects at the Mill, Smelter and Nickel Rim South while collecting their termination pay.  They are able to collect double pay until their layoff time of June 3rd, 2009.

Laid off workers collecting their termination pay can also work elsewhere and it will not affect them receiving that money or their recall rights. It is their money regardless of what they do.

Adjustment and Training Center

We are still in the process of setting up our own adjustment and training center for our laid off workers.  Our intent is to have it up and running by June 3rd 2009.

In the meanwhile laid-off employees are encouraged to visit the job center (Varity) established by the Company at 128 Larch street on the 6th Floor.

Ottawa Trip:

Our intention is to continue to pressure Mr. Clement and our government because of the breach of contract when Falconbridge was purchased.  We are still waiting on Mr. Clement to meet with us, in Ottawa.  Once we have this date, the trip will be scheduled.


An information meeting will be held next week, Thursday March 26, 2009, at the Hall starting at 7:30 pm to answer any other questions people may have.

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