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Agreement means restart


March 1, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Catalyst Paper Corporation will restart the No. 4 paper machine at its Port Alberni, BC pulp and paper mill. In return the local union has agreed to a new five-shift work schedule that will see worker…

Catalyst Paper Corporation will restart the No. 4 paper machine at its Port Alberni, BC pulp and paper mill. In return the local union has agreed to a new five-shift work schedule that will see workers multi-tasking, working at up to three different jobs on a rotating basis, one week at a time.

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) Local 592 president Peter Rayburn noted that not all the workers are pleased with the arrangement, but it was necessary if jobs were to be saved. During the shift period, workers affected will be paid the full rate for the most senior position they fill, regardless of the other jobs they perform.

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The Alberni Valley Times newspaper reports that five-year agreement between Catalyst and CEP locals 686 and 592 includes 90 or so retirement packages (minimum 55 years old) worth $14 million, variable pays program, flex work practices and a curtailment of relief workers at what Rayburn acknowledges was an “over-manned” mill. Rayburn says the enhanced severance package was a major factor in the successful negotiations, the departure of the pensioned-off workers will help open up new positions for some of the 158 workers laid off when the No. 4 paper machine first shut down.


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