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Union at Temiscaming rejects Tembec’s final offer


November 26, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Members of Unifor local 233 voted Nov. 19 to reject what was termed a final offer from Tembec concerning the collective agreement for workers at the company’s Temiscaming, Que., complex. The union says this vote puts them in a position to…

Members of Unifor local 233 voted Nov. 19 to reject what was termed a final offer from Tembec concerning the collective agreement for workers at the company’s Temiscaming, Que., complex. The union says this vote puts them in a position to strike, but both parties were directed to meet with Quebec’s Ministry of Labour several days later.

Tembec’s Temiscaming site is Canada’s largest forest products operation, with a total of 850 manufacturing employees. Of these, 650 site employees are covered by the current five-year collective agreement, which expires September 30, 2014. The site produces pulp, paper, specialty cellulose and chemicals.

In a news release on Nov. 19, Unifor stated that it would not comment further on negotitations, but Tembec has been open with details of the contract talks. A timeline of the process and details of the offer are available from Tembec at temiscaming.tembec.com.

Tembec explains that it launched the temiscaming.tembec.com website to keep our community at large – employees, customers, shareholders, local citizens, job-hunters, government officials, suppliers, other partners – informed about the ongoing negotiation of the Temiscaming site’s collective agreement.

The company says it met with the union executive of Unifor in late May 2014 to ask for a one-year extension of the current collective agreement, which was due to expire on September 30, 2014, in exchange for a $1,000 lump-sum payment to each unionized employee. Tembec said it was in the best interest of the company and all of its employees that all resources and attention be dedicated to successfully commission, start-up and implement the $255 million green power project, which is absolutely critical to the future of the site.  

On June 13, the union advised Tembec that the offer to extend the collective agreement had been rejected.