Unifor Local 514 votes in favour of amendments to collective agreement

Unifor Local 514 voted in favour of amending specific parts of their collective agreement with Neucel Specialty Cellulose.

Talks between Neucel Specialty Cellulose and Unifor Local 514 continue to blossom as the Port Alice pulp mill searches for ways to reduce their fixed costs.

The 514 Union recently held a vote on Jan. 11 and Jan. 14 to decide whether to amend specific articles of their collective agreement through a letter of understanding.

A letter of understanding is a document that supersedes the collective agreement. Any changes made to the collective agreement would be reflected in the letter of understanding.

The 514 Union vote came back with 70 union members in favour of amending specific articles in the collective agreement. 17 voted against it.

When asked to comment, Neucel Specialty Cellulose’s Vice-President of Human Resources, Warren Beatty, stated that the Union agreed to “concessions made to wages, cost sharing of benefits, and also language in the collective agreement being changed in specific areas.”

Beatty added that Neucel is “very happy that the Union has supported our efforts in restarting the mill,” and that “getting concessions agreed upon by the Union was just one of the elements we needed to go forward with getting funding to restart.”

Beatty confirmed that the search for funding is ongoing, and that Neucel’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Taylor, who was hired in the fall, is no longer with the company as of Dec. 31.

Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen stated that council “is very pleased with the numbers from the Union’s vote. It’s one more step forward to help end the curtailment of Neucel.”

Allen added that even though the Village has had to tighten their belts and make tough decisions recently with regards to their spending, “Port Alice remains the best place to live on the north end of Vancouver Island.”

Neucel has been in production curtailment since March of 2015.

The company was originally supposed to be closed for only six months, but the conditions that existed in March continued to exist after the initial six month curtailment.

Recently, however, there have been improvements on the horizon.

The market price for Neucel’s product is strengthening, which is why the company is now working diligently towards restarting the dormant pulp mill.

Just Posted

LETTER: Forestry will always be here and survive

“These huge Canadian forests and wherever they are in North America will be there”

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Sea Walk

“I made a mad dash for the Sea Walk to capture Port Alice in white”

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

North Island communities receive upgraded used oil recycling facilities

“It is fantastic to see all of these locations with upgraded used oil recycling facilities”

How will Port McNeill spend property tax money in 2020?

Bill Mcquarrie investigates the Town of Port McNeill’s budget process for 2020.

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read