CEP union at Catalyst Paper's Crofton, British Columbia, pulp and paper mill scheduled to vote again on offer it turned down over a week ago; mill's PPWC local rejects company's request to negotiate without union's national officers

LOS ANGELES , January 9, 2012 () –

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) is scheduled to vote again on Jan. 9 on an offer at Catalyst Paper Corp.’s pulp and paper mill in Crofton, British Columbia, said the president of local 1132, Fraser McCourey, reported HQCowichanValley.com on Jan. 9.

Members rejected the tentative contract deal in a vote last week. Afterwards, Kevin Figee, first VP of CEP local 1132, said that ballots would have to be cast for the second time because the prior vote was so close, HQCowichanValley.com reported on Jan. 6.

However, an issue with the process was cited as the reason for another vote by another union member who spoke with SunFM News, which reported that the source asked to remain anonymous.

Catalyst Paper, CEP union headquarters and other union representatives did not return phone calls seeking further information, reported HQCowichanValley.com.

Details on the proposed labor contract were not released; however wage cuts and other concessions are reportedly included. The deal is reported to have been ratified by union locals at Catalyst Paper’s pulp and paper mills in Port Alberni and Campbell River, British Columbia.

The Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada (PPWC) local at the Crofton mill have rejected a request by Catalyst Paper to negotiate without national officers, HQCowichanValley.com reported on Jan. 9.

Last week, PPWC members voted 100% for keeping the original negotiation process, which is the national union’s policy and can only be changed through a ballot.

Negotiating directly with the PPWC’s local would have eliminated the requirement that Catalyst Paper submit to third-party management while it deals with its debt, said Paul Zarry, local president. The PPWC contract expires May 1.

Catalyst Paper did not return phone calls seeking comment on the issue, reported HQCowichanValley.com.

The primary source of this article is HQCowichanValley.com, British Columbia, on Jan. 6 and Jan. 9, 2012.


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