USW workers should accept wage offer and compromise

This strike has gone on for far too long and the wage offer by Western should be accepted

USW workers should accept wage offer and compromise

USW workers should accept wage offer and compromise

Re: comments made by Bill Routley on USW strike

Once again, Bill Routley shooting off from the hip not mentioning key points on the topic. Bill is telling us that Western Forest Products does not care about their employees in the way they are treated, but forgets to realize that when the strike is over, these employees will still be employed by Western, once again collecting their paycheques. Bill has mentioned nothing about negotiations on the new contract. Bill is now retired himself, and one of his pensions is his MLA pension, paid for by the B.C. taxpayers which is $28,612 per year and he will receive a total of $383,758 by the time he reaches age 80. Western Forest Products have offered the USW a five year contract. That is a two per cent wage increase per year for the first four years and a 2.5 per cent wage increase in year five of the contract along with a $2,000 one-time signing bonus. Western has agreed to drop proposals to modernize agreements as well as pension plan alternation opposed by the union.

The USW are asking for a four year contract with a three per cent wage increase in years one and two of the contract, and wage increases of 2.5 per cent in years three and four of the contract. The union is asking for an 11 per cent wage increase over four years versus Western offering a wage increase of 10.5 per cent over five years. From a common sense approach, we can say that the wage portion of a new contract is satisfactory and the USW should agree to Western’s offer.

Presently manufacturing employees are working four 10-hour shifts and the logging employees are working four days on, four days off. The USW workers want to do a 40 hour work week in a five day working schedule, but Western will not agree to this, according to USW President Brian Butler, and yet Western CEO Don Demans saying they would. From a common sense approach, Western should comprise and return to a five day work week. There is no cost savings from working 10 hour shifts over four days and four days on, four days off from the traditional 40 hour five day week.

Other issues are USW want a increase in shift differentials, increase differential for first aid, and a boot allowance. Western does adopt a policy of contracting out, whereas the USW are against the policy. Western is the employer and should have the option of contracting out if they so wish.

Western has a policy that Long Term Disability stops at age 60, and the USW wants this to change to long term disability is also payable to age 60 plus. Sounds reasonable for Western to accept.

The USW wants Western to update their alcohol and drug wellness policy, as the way it is now, the employee can lose their job for very minor violations.

Brian Butler, USW president is quoted as saying that Western Forest Products is bringing in over billion dollar incomes but fails to realize that operating expenses are on the rise at the same time, and wages and benefits are a major factor of these rising costs, that has to be addressed in a new union labour contract. Why?

Western’s net income in 2016, was $94.2 million, in 2017, $74.4 million, and in 2018, $69.2 million. A decrease of 26.5 per cent in 2018 from 2016. Butler, do the math first, before blowing off steam.

Butler also fails to realize that B.C. is not the only lumber manufacturer in the world. B.C. is in competition with other countries that manufacture lumber.

In summary, this strike has gone on for far too long and the wage offer by Western should be accepted and the other outstanding issues to be settled by both USW and Western, eliminating the bull headedness between both of them. The key factor here, is that a new contract is only going to come to reality based on the yearly net incomes of the company.

Employees say that their personal expenses are on the rise but also their employer’s expenses are on the rise too.

Accept the wage offer and compromise on the other outstanding issues. The facts and reality of common sense always prevail.

Unbelievable!

Joe Sawchuk

Duncan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Duncan initiates pilot project to deal with graffiti

Project based on a successful one in Port Alberni

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Most Read