Elk Falls Workers

Campbell River B.C.

Update#3 – Group Challenge to EI position on Holiday Pay in Advance

We received our answer to the group E/I challenge yesterday.
We won the appeal !, the board found that the holiday pay was incorrectly allocated. I had to read it twice myself but it looks good. I assume it now goes to the commission to make it right for people that were part of the group appeal.

Here’s a link to the judgement with personal details omitted.

Appeal – redacted

October 15, 2009 Posted by | - Government | 2 Comments

Update-Group Challenge to EI position on Holiday Pay in Advance

Joe Cizmic and myself were in Naniamo today to present our group appeal to the EI appeal board. The board consists of three members of the community that are trained in the employment act.They told us we would get a written answer to our appeal within the next two weeks. I will update the blog as soon as we hear.

-The EI board secretary called me today asking for some further information on how holidays work. At least that means we weren’t dismissed out of hand.

-The EI board of appeal has sent a recommendation to EI commission  that they relook at our situation. This is one more step along the road of getting our situation resolved.

September 10, 2009 Posted by | - Benefits, - Government | 1 Comment

Group says changes by Community Development Trust are discriminatory

Looking for like minded people to join in the fight…

“The Community Development Trust recently came out with their 2009 program for “older workers”. They have changed the eligibility rules so that you now have to be 60 years old rather than 55 to be able to apply. Many people were assured by the CDT last year that if they didn’t apply last year, they could do so this year. That is now untrue. They have arbitrarily changed the eligibility rules after one year of a three year program. I have spoken with our local MLA office and they believe we have been discriminated against and should together voice our dissatisfaction to the government. I and others have also filed a complaint with the BC ombudsman’s office and we are looking for others to join in.
So if you or anyone you know has been let down by the new rules, call me at 923-7386 and I will put a list together and as a group we will be much stronger than individuals.
Thanks, Bob Simnor

August 13, 2009 Posted by | - Government, General | Leave a comment

Group Challenge to EI position on Holiday Pay in Advance

Joe Cizmic has been working on behalf of the Local to appeal the E/I decision that penalized people that took their holiday pay in advance. Late last week he received confirmation from Employment Insurance that they will allow a representative appeal to go forward on this issue. What this means is the union will be arguing the case of a primary appellant.  The decision rendered by the appellate board will then be binding ONLY for those people who have consented to be part of the group appeal.

For those of you unaware, the issue arose when Elk employees were told by E/I that taking holiday pay in advance wouldn’t affect their E/I benefits. Then when they took holiday pay in advance exactly the opposite happened and the holiday pay amounts were deducted off their benefits.

If this happened to you and you haven’t pursued your own personal appeal, you can sign on to this representative (group) appeal. For those members that have already filled an individual appeal and wish to join the group appeal, a withdraw form ( available from Joe Cizmic 926-0705 or at the union hall) must be filled out and faxed to E/I as soon as possible.

To be part of the group appeal, members are required to complete a representative appeal form (available from Joe Cizmic 926-0705 or at the union hall) and return it to the union hall. We will fax it as we need to keep a list of people that are part of the appeal. E/I have given us a 2 week window to collect all the forms starting yesterday.  As soon as the completed form is faxed to E/I, the agreed deduction will be held in abeyance until the resolve of the appeal.  It’s important to note, that once the union has provide E/I the list of appellants, we will not be able to add people.

Below are links to the forms you will need , you can fill them out and take them in or fax them to the union hall at 250-286-6219 and Laurie will send them to EI for you.If you know Elk workers that are out of town direct them to this blog if they are interested in appealing.

The form for catalyst withdrawal

The form for catalyst appeal

July 21, 2009 Posted by | - Government, - Mill News | 5 Comments

Ottawa to Unveil Pulp & Paper Aid Program June 17th

Federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt is to announce an anticipated $1-billion aid program for the country’s pulp and paper industry Wednesday.

A media advisory issued by Raitt’s office today says the program “will lay the groundwork for a greener, more sustainable future for Canada’s pulp and paper industry.”

Ottawa is not releasing a figure on the program — designed to counter market damage done by the $7 billion U.S. black liquor subsidy — but industry sources say the $1-billion figure has been widely discussed.

The Ottawa package is thought to be for green energy projects and environmental improvement projects.

You can read more about it at:

Ottawa to announce $1-billion aid program for forest sector (Vancouver Sun)

Ottawa to ante up $1-billion aid to pulp and paper industry (Canadian Press)

Ottawa’s new fund to back “green” forest industry capital spending (Macleans.ca)

June 16, 2009 Posted by | - Government | 1 Comment

CEP makes noise about Federal Election

Canada’s largest forestry union calling on the Liberal Party of Canada to defeat the Conservative government if there is no clear support for the forestry industry.

OTTAWA, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ – Canada’s 300,000 forestry workers and their families are facing the most severe crisis since the Great Depression.

“The Conservative Party has given us nothing but rumours of help, and phantom promises.” says Dave Coles, President of the Communication Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP), which represents 60,000 forestry workers.

“If it takes an election to save our jobs and our families and our Communities, then let there be an election.

“CEP Secretary Treasurer Gaetan Menard is scheduled to meet with Denis Coderre, Michael Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant, on Tuesday, June 16, to address the deepening crisis in the industry. At that meeting Menard will urge Coderre and the Liberal caucus to bring down the government if there is no clear support for the forestry industry.

Last week CEP President Dave Coles, and a CEP delegation, met with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, as a direct result of sit ins by CEP members of seven Conservative MPs offices. Flaherty promised to study their position and get back to them. There has been no news from Flaherty.

Four thousand forestry workers from across Canada marched on the Prime Minister’s Office on June 2, in an attempt to awaken the Conservative party to the industry’s peril.

The scale of the danger is demonstrated by the 55,000 forestry jobs lost in the last two years. There are 300 forestry dependent towns in Canada, of which 270 are at risk.

“Forestry is a sun rise industry, a renewable resource, an industry that forms the backbone of the Canadian landscape. If Stephen Harper and his government think they can side step their responsibility to us and our families, then they need another wake up call.” says Gaetan Menard, CEP Secretary Treasurer.

June 14, 2009 Posted by | - Government | Leave a comment

Follow up on Ottawa meeting with Finance Minister Flaherty

Members have been asking about the results of the June 2nd protest in Ottawa and whether the CEP got what it wanted out of it.  Here is the press release from the CEP National website.


CEP Meeting with Jim Flaherty, Federal Finance Minister
OTTAWA (June 3, 2009)

Call them the Forestry Five-union leaders who came from across the country to confront the Minister of Finance. The Forestry Five had his full attention for two dramatic reasons-the first was an old fashioned and very effective occupation of 7 Conservative MPs and Ministers constituency offices. The second had just unfolded across Ottawa-the biggest union demonstration Parliament Hill has witnessed in years, 4,000 strong according to police sources.

The national press was out in force.

The leaders flying the green CEP flag were Dave Coles, President of CEP, and Gaétan Ménard, Secretary Treasurer of CEP, along with VPs Bob Huget, Ervan Cronk, and Jim Britton. The Forestry Five met with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue, and six Parliamentary staffers.

The tone of the meeting was more conciliatory than in the past. According to Gaétan Ménard, there was a new opening for the union position. Ménard said “They didn’t use their usual excuse, and hide behind the Softwood Lumber Agreement as the reason they couldn’t back stop loans to the industry.”  Dave Coles described it as a crack in the door, a door that has been closed in the past.

Coles and Ménard gave Flaherty and Blackburn a precedent setting proposal on forestry workers threatened pensions. And they told the Conservative Ministers, and their staff, that there are entire communities across Canada that are at risk of complete devastation if the federal government doesn’t take action to level the playing field with the US very soon. Canadian mills can’t compete with the kinds of breaks US mils are getting from their government.

Flaherty promised the Forestry Five that he would study the union’s position, and get back to them.

The federal Liberals have also agreed to a meeting with the union.

The CEP’s Gaétan Ménard meets with Denis Coderre, Michael Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant, next Tuesday, June 16.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | - Government | Leave a comment

CEP members occupy Cabinet Members, MPs offices

In addition to occupying Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s office, members of the CEP are also occupying the offices of

* Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River)
* John Duncan (Vancouver Island North)
* Lawrence Cannon (Pontiac)
* Josée Verner (Louis-Saint-Laurent)
* Jean-Pierre Blackburn (Jonquiere-Alma)
* Mike Allen (Tobique-Mactaquac)

“The federal government’s aloof attitude toward forest community’s borders on contempt,” says CEP President Dave Coles. “In the face of the pain and suffering created by 55,000 job losses in the last two years, the government has done nothing.

“Today we are taking a stand — we are fighting for the future of our families, our communities and our industry.”

Source: CEP Press Release

May 25, 2009 Posted by | - Government, CEP Issues | 3 Comments