WINNIPEG, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - In an all-out effort to take away some 35 per
cent in wage and benefit concessions from United Steelworkers and Canadian
Office and Professional Employee Union members, Tembec Inc. negotiators have
informed the unions that it will lock out its Manitoba Newsprint Operations in
Pine Falls on September 1, 2009.
Over 250 USW Local 3-1375 members are employed in the operations.
"The company is holding true to an ultimatum style of collective
bargaining," says USW area supervisor Wayne Skrypnyk. "It threatened a
shutdown on September 1 if it didn't get its way and now it is proceeding."
Union negotiators were presented further details on concession demands
At the same time the company refuses to share information on any other
efforts it may be taking with other stakeholders to reduce costs for the
"There's much the company could do, with other stakeholders, in terms of
achieving savings on fibre and silviculture costs, woodlands costs, energy and
transportation efficiencies, and taxes but it categorically refuses to share
those options with us," says union staff representative Scott McRitchie.
Skrypnyk says the union is willing to continue to bargain and encourages
the company to reconsider its lock out position.
"Our members and the people of Powerview-Pine Falls have already suffered
enough through the current economic downturn," says Skrypnyk. "A lockout on
September 1, after contract talks just begun on August 13, does not send a
positive signal to workers or the community. Tembec has to act responsibly."
The Steelworkers is Canada's largest industrial union with 250,000
members in all sectors of the economy.
For further information:
For further information: Wayne Skrypnyk, (204) 940-3050, (204) 232-7335;
Scott McRitchie, (204) 940-3050