Letterhead


December 10, 2003 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA:


AFFILIATES PRESENT

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

David Porteous UFCW 120

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

David Doran Carp 1346

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Karen Abramsen BC Forum

Louise Turner HEU

Jeff Carsience UBCJ 1370

Karen Macdonald BCNU

Mary Malerby BCNU

Joyce Procure BCNU

Steve Malerby BC Forum

Roy Graham BWD 300

Glenn Nowag HRCEBU 40

Kevin Hagglund CEP 823

Pat Munro HSA

Lee Riggs TWU 16

Liz Woods BCGEU

GUESTS

Gord Larkin CLC

Bill Oystryk Carp 1370

Brad Dahl BWD 300

Cliff Fitzgerald CUPW 760

Steve Swarbrick BWD 300

Gord Stoutenburg TWU retired

Hank Horn

Faye Saxon OPEIU 15

Eileen Robinson

Anita Riggs HSA

John O. Powell NDP

Vince Skywork CUPW

Angelee Skywork CUPW

Doug Gibson retired

Les Furgault CUPW

REGRETS

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of December 10, 2003


GUEST SPEAKERS

Roy Graham - Brewery Workers - The union won all four points in the Mission Hill winery arbitration award at the end of October over contracting out of the cooler line. Arbitrator Colin Taylor ruled in our favour, but within hours of his ruling, the company started to dismantle the equipment, putting 55 full- benefit employees out of work. We are having a hearing Dec. 14, 16-17 to try and get Taylor to enforce his ruling, but we could possibly end up in the Supreme Court. Costly, but it is a fight we will fight. Possible hot declaration, but will inform you at a later date of this. Products the company is contracting out are Mike's Hard Lemonade, Okanagan Ciders, Sting and California Coolers.

Bill Oystryk - Bill is collecting the government health care flyers that have been going to everyone in the mail. He plans to collect a bunch of them, then take them back to local MLAs. If you've got some of these flyers, call Bill at 860-4312.


ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of November 5, 2003.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

32 present with 18 delegates and 14 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

M/S/C to to adopt financial report as circulated

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) BC Federation of Labour urges labour councils to support campaign to protect Women's Centre. Sample letter to municipal councils included. The NOLC will buy $25 gift certificates from local food stores to donate to both the Vernon and Kelowna women's centres and send letters to Kelowna and Vernon councils.

b) CUPE in Ontario asking for donations to the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton. Canada's only centre dedicated to the celebration of workers history and culture is in financial difficulty. (by e-mail) - receive and file

c) Pacific Northwest Labour History Association membership request: Organizational membership is $200 - receive and file.

M/S/C to adopt executive board report


REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Faye Saxon - EI Board of Referees - On Nov. 23, I attended a labour referees meeting in Vancouver. This was for all Pacific region worker representatives and funded by commissioner Tony Wohlfarth and the CLC. It was a good day and helped give us an insight into how other boards handle various types of cases. We also received copies of new jurisprudence to help us in adjudicating during our hearings. The reps in the Lower Mainland meet on a regular basis and some of these cases they had been made aware of, and using, for some time. There was some discussion about the possibility of regular meetings being held in the Okanagan, which sounds like a good idea to me. Anything that will help us in our quest to allow those workers entitled to benefits, to collect.

The number of cases has been down considerably in 2003. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because some people just feel it's not worth the hassle. There do seem to be a never-ending list of reasons why some appellants are denied benefits Perhaps you can once again impress on your members to appeal if they have to and to give them advice and represent them wherever possible.

Lee Riggs - TWU - Telus customer complaints to CRTC are at an all-time high.
- It now takes six weeks to get any changes to existing service, such as adding a jack, or to add an additional phone line.
- We urge the public to treat Telus employees with respect.
- We are looking for a strike headquarters (A company lockout about February is predicted). Contact 250-212-8435.

Glenn Nowag - HRCEBU 40 - Local 40, also known as the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Employees and Bartenders Union, is being raided by the Canadian Culinary Hospitality Union, which is affiliated to an as-yet-unidentified union. We the members of Local 40 ask for your support to help stop this union. Sites that are being targeted are the Village Green Hotel in Vernon, the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna and the Coast Bastion Inn in Nanaimo. This is probably just the start of a long struggle, which will have a profound effect on all of our members.

Doug Gibson - OPEIU - I have had the opportunity just recently to make a presentation to our new provincial New Democratic leader on behalf of the seniors organizations to which I have been associated for many years, such as COSCO, Council of Seniors Organizations, along with Art Kube's organization, Seniors for Medicare. I was able to only touch briefly on some of the major cutbacks which have taken place against seniors throughout the province, with more to come, leading up to the general election in May 2005. There were other presentations equally as compelling in other areas, particularly with children primarily from single-family homes, who are arriving at schools without having had a proper meal either before, during or after school. This is a deplorable situation that must be changed.

Karen Abramsen

Board of Referees (EI) - Today, I sat in my first appeal as an observer. We had a variety of interesting cases. I was very fortunate to have been assigned to a board with three excellent reps and, in particular, Faye Saxon, who was an excellent role model. I hope I can live up to her excellent example. At the Nov. 23 Insured Workers Workshop, held in Vancouver, we learned that there is a new website to assist with Injured Worker Applications. The website address is: www.ei-ae.gc.ca/en/referees/html. We have also received some "user-friendly" documentation to assist us in our "Advocacy" role.

Council of Canadians: The NOLC rep, Mary Lou Bailey, has had to resign from the Council of Canadians steering committee. She was an excellent liaison in her two-year tenure. She is a CUPE member and able to add their perspective on the sale and commodification of water. We hope the NOLC will appoint another rep to be on the Council of Canadians steering committee. Thanks to Jeff Carsience of the Carpenters Union who has volunteered for this appointment.

New Democrats - Over the past weekend, I sacrificed myself to two dinners, one in Penticton with Dave Barrett and one in Kelowna with MP Svend Robinson and provincial leader Carole James. Both were extremely well attended (80-90 each) and everyone felt they were inspiring events. Hot off the press: CEO Paul Martin is apparently planning to dismantle HRDC and insurance will to Revenue Taxation and programs to Industry Canada.

Liz Woods - BCGEU - The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that, where a discharged employee received a cash settlement from an employer in return for giving up a right to reinstatement, it was not unreasonable for an EI Board of Referees to accept the employee's evidence that the payment was damages rather than compensation for lost wages, and did not constitute "earnings" for the purpose of Employment Insurance regulations. In such circumstances, the employee was entitled to keep the money free from any claims by EI.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) M/S/C to donate $1,250 to the Kelowna and Vernon federal NDP riding associations and $500 to the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding association.

b) Spring School update - Brochure to go out in a separate mailing. Don't wait until the last minute to sign up for courses. M/S/C - to apply for a scholarship for Jeff Carsience to attend the Unions in the Community course at the CLC Harrison winter school.

c) Finance Committee report - NOLC Finance Policy proposal attached to these minutes. M/S/C to approve proposed policy. It will also be voted on at the Vernon meeting Jan. 7. Nominations were also opened for an affiliate outreach/membership committee recommended by the committee. Jeff Carsience and Kevin Hagglund were nominated. Nominations will be reopened at the Vernon meeting.


NEW BUSINESS

none



FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

33 total, 18 delegates, 15 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 7 p.m., at the Village Green Hotel, Vernon.


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