Letterhead


January 7, 2004 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL

JANUARY 7, 2004 AT VERNON

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

David Doran Carp 1346

David Porteous UFCW 120B

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Glenn Nowag HERE 40

Deb Chamberlain TWU 6

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Jeff Carsience Carp 1370

Karen Abramsen BC Forum

Louise Turner HEU

Roy Graham BWD 300

GUESTS

Kandi Rochford HERE 40

Denis Nogue CEP/HEU

Doug Knowler TWU 6

Pete Kauhausen HERE 40

Wayne Enevoldson Carp 1346

Don Main Carp

Nick McAnulty United Assn. 488

Chris deVries Carp 1346

REGRETS

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307

Cheryl Stone UFCW 1518

Kevin Hagglund CEP 823-M

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:04 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of January 7, 2004

GUEST SPEAKERS

none

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of December 10, 2003 as circulated.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

17 present with 11 delegates and 6 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

None

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

none

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Roy Graham, Brewery Workers: Mission Hill dispute looks to be settled. We have negotiated an enhanced severance package for the 55 workers displaced by the contracting-out issue. The owner sold the ready to drink portion of his business while we were in negotiations. Arbitrator Colin Taylor remains seized of the issue, including the sale to make sure it is to be sold to a company from out of province. If it comes back to B.C., our members have successorship rights. Not the best resolution for our members, but we were able to salvage something out of this in terms of severance enhancement and successorship. We still have serious concerns re: the arbitration process. We feel let down by the arbitrator. Our members felt we had won this case and we are upset that the arbitrator would not be firm on his original award. This employer has been the cause of most of our labour problems in our union, and we will continue to take them on despite the loss of jobs in Westbank, and do the best for the remaining 26 workers left.

Don Main, EI Board of Referees report: In 1990, 74 per cent of unemployed workers in Canada received unemployment benefits. Today, only 38 per cent of Canada's jobless are getting benefits; in B.C., 32 per cent. The cause of this decline, according to a Canadian Labour Congress study, is a series of increases in the hours and weeks of work a worker needs to qualify for coverage and reductions in the maximum number of weeks of benefits ... The latest round of changes to unemployment insurance included shifting from the "weeks" system to an "hours" system. It tripled the minimum qualifying hours, reduced the length of the benefit period and quadrupled the weeks needed for qualify for thousands of part-time workers. To make it more complicated, coverage varies widely across the country. Women are decidedly worse off than men. In 2001, 44 per cent of unemployed men got coverage compared to 33 per cent of unemployed women. And the gap has grown. In B.C., the figures are 34 per cent for men and 28 per cent for women. More than a million people who need unemployment benefits can't get them. Meanwhile, the government takes money out of the unemployment insurance fund to pay for tax cuts and grants to corporations. The CLC proposes a program that:makes it illegal for the government to take money out of the fund for other purposes; covers all kinds of employment, including fulltime, parttime and temporary; pays benefits for unemployment, temporary sickness, training leave, parental leave and pregnancy; doesn't discriminate against seasonal workers, women, youth or older workers; makes the system simpler. The CLC says 360 hours should be enough to qualify, rather than the patchwork system of 420 to 910 hours, which changes from place to place and month to month. For more information, go to www.unemployed.ca and download a petition or send a letter to your MP.

Doug Knowler, TWU 6: A strike vote is being taken by the Telecommunications Worker' Union in B.C. and Alberta during January. This strike vote is being taken after three years of negotiations with Telus. The last attempt at an agreement was made on Nov. 14 when both parties met under conciliation. Both parties had agreed to bring proposals to the table; Telus did not. In fact, Telus Mobility came to the table on Dec. 1 with proposals they said were without prejudice and could be withdrawn at any time. This was under a news and information blackout for the first 30 days of the 60-day conciliation period, ending Jan. 12. After the 30 days was up, a request of an extension of the information blackout was made. We decided not to agree to that and inform the membership what was happening. A decision to take a strike vote was also made. Since then, Telus has said they will have a final offer on Jan. 30. We will be in a legal strike position in February. If anyone has information on possible free office space for a strike headquarters, please contact Doug Knowler at 545-7758 or Debbie Chamberlain, 545-5262.

Pete Kauhausen, HERE 40: Last month, it was reported that Local 40 was being raided by a newly formed union, the CCHEU (Canadian Culinary Hospitality Employees Union), which is not accredited to the B.C. Federation of Labour or Canadian Labour Congress. The raid was the result of sour grapes due to our recently held elections. With the assistance received from this council and its affiliates by speaking to our members and writing to the employer, we are pleased to announce that this raid has slowed dramatically, near to non-existence. However, we will continue to monitor the situation. We thank you for your continued support. At this time, I would also like to publicly thank Brother Glenn Nowag, shop chair from the Coast Capri, for all of his hard work. During this raid by the CCHEU, there was also a decertification vote held at the Royal Anne Hotel in Kelowna on Dec. 4. By a decision reached at the (labour relations) board, we were able to hold off on counting the ballots until after Christmas. On Jan. 5, the count was held and we are also pleased to report that Local 40 has retained its certification. On the other side of the stick, Army, Navy and Air Force Unit #5 (Vernon) held a strike vote, which was unanimously for a strike. The sisters at this unit have only received a 1 per cent wage increase in eight years and that was in 2001. The union has applied for mediation. The current collective agreement expires Feb. 9. Negotiations will also be commencing at ANAF 376 in Kelowna within the next couple of months and the union does not see any problems.

Karen Abramsen, EI Board of Referees: New "compassionate care" EI program covers 6 weeks within a 28-week window. Need 600 hours of work to qualify. Immediate relative (defined in the legislation) must be terminally ill and expected to die within the 28 weeks. Two-week waiting period still applies.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Financial policy - M/S/C/ to approve new financial policy presented by financial review committee. It was also approved at the last Kelowna meeting and a copy was included with the previous set of minutes.

b) Re-open nominations for membership outreach committee - Steve Malerby and Louise Turner were nominated. Kevin Hagglund and Jeff Carsience were nominated at the previous meeting. Committee is being set up to work with the treasurer on membership issues.

c) Spring school update - Brochures have been mailed out to those on mailing list. Sign up ASAP.

NEW BUSINESS

a) Letter of congratulations to ferry workers union - M/S/C/ to send a letter to the union congratulating them on a job well done in their recent strike.

b) Open nominations for executive positions. David Porteous handled the nominations. Nominated were:
President - David Doran
Vice-Presidents - Jeff Carsience, Ron Bobowski, Glenn Nowag
Secretary-treasurer - Judi Filion
Recording Secretary - Pat Bulmer
Sergeant at arms - Trudy Ames
Northern Delegate - Louise Turner
Southern Delegate - Karen Abramsen
Trustee - Pat Munro, Tony Heisterkamp. (Trustees are elected for 3-year terms - Pat Munro's term is up this year, Steve Malerby in 2005 and David Porteous in 2006).
Nominations will reopen at the February meeting and elections, if necessary, will be held.

c) Letter to Windsor Manor management - M/S/C/ to send a letter opposing layoff of workers and slashing of salaries.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

20 total, 12 delegates, 8 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 4, 7 p.m. at the BCGEU office, 1591 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna.


Go back to News & Notes

PreviousHomeNext