Monday Morning Minute: Oct. 23, 2017


Union Work – Collective Bargaining, Organizing, Arbitration, Worker Rights, Community Work, Political Work, Labor History

Falsification of Records Arbitration – Catalyst Paper – Rumford, ME

The employer issued a three (3) day suspension to a grievant with twenty-six (26) years seniority for falsifying an investigative report. The dispute in the case concerned the grievant’s whereabouts between 6:00 a.m. and 6:32 a.m. on the morning of February 3rd, 2016. At 6:00 a.m., a large number of workers were directed to the pulp dryer area in order to receive the daily work assignments.

The grievant testified that he arrived in the area shortly after 6 a.m. after stopping to change clothes. The supervisor reported not witnessing the grievant in the area at any time during the approximate half an hour. At 6:32 a.m., the supervisor paged the grievant. The grievant greeted the supervisor immediately. The grievant testified that the supervisor was confrontational toward him and asked for an explanation of his whereabouts. The grievant attempted to explain he had been in the area the entire time but got interrupted by the supervisor who disagreed with him. A verbal exchange ensued between the two.

The human resource manager conducted an investigation in which no other worker could corroborate the grievant’s statement. Subsequently, the grievant was issued the suspension for falsifying his statement regarding the matter of his whereabouts. The union argued that the human resource manager was an experienced investigator and produced no notes of the workers interviews nor provided any video evidence of the matter.

Additionally, the employer failed to produce any witnesses, including the supervisor, who was the real problem in the incident. The employer maintained that it was a dischargeable offense to falsify investigative reports and that when the grievant was provided evidence to his initial report about his whereabouts, his story was substantially changed. The arbitrator determined that the employer failed to prove that the grievant was not where he said he was or proved that he made false statements deliberate in nature. Award: grievance sustained.


Safety Notice – Genie S and Z Booms – Mandatory Action required

Genie has determined that the Operator's Protective Alarm is equipped with a mounting bracket that may become loose. This may cause the OPA assembly to fall off the machine resulting in a collision hazard.

Date: September 22, 2017

Affected Option: Operator Protective Alarm (OPA)

Models and Serial Numbers Affected: Copy and paste the below link into your browser and view pages 4-6 for all models and serial numbers affected.

Field Install Kits Affected: 125563 - for all Z-45/25 DC models 1255096 and 1276063 - for machines equipped with ALC500 operating system 1255564 and 1273064 - for machines equipped with ALC1000 operating system.

Actions Required:

This safety notice requires the installation of a reinforcement structure around the OPA assembly: Safety Notice


Industry Update

Catalyst Paper – New CEO and President is Appointed

On October 10, 2017, Catalyst Paper announced the appointment of Edward (Ned) Dwyer as President and CEO of the Company. Most recently he served as Catalyst’s Chief Operating Officer.

USW Local 1505 – WestRock – Hodge, LA – State and Company Officials Announce Improvements to Mill

A series of upgrades will be made to the facility in Hodge over the next five years. Mill improvements will include normal maintenance and repairs, new and replacement equipment, and facility upgrades to keep the facility competitive.

The state of Louisiana offered tax incentives totaling $1.5million per year, for five years, based on performance. WestRock is the area’s largest employer with about 450 workers. Another 3,700 indirect jobs are also supported by the mill.

Click HERE for more information.

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