Negotiations Update for Premier Horticulture

September 24, 2007
Dear Member: Re: Employer Delaying Meeting Re Team Productivity Incentives. After an initial meeting to discuss the team productivity incentives the Employer has cancelled subsequent meetings, the latest of which was scheduled for September 11th, 2007. In cancelling the September 11th meeting, Tim Yanis (Operations Director, North America Center) stated, “We advise that we will postpone this meeting until later this year or very early next year. The reasons to postpone include: 1. Our mixing line project (phase 2 of the plant construction) is significantly behind schedule. What was initially planned to be completed in early September is now delayed until November. Operating the balers using mix is different than with straight moss. 2. The production of bales with changing grades of peat on our balers is different and we need to correct the root cause of these differences though design changes or otherwise understand the productivity rates. 3. We will be installing a new “form, fill and seal” packaging machine to be used on mix products and we also require to understand this machine’s potential.” After consulting with shop stewards, although I thanked the Employer for responding I expressed our disappointment with the delay.  In addition to indicating that we preferred earlier meeting dates, I also provided them with the information supplied by the balers, that incentive payment should be made for any production over the following amounts: Mega Baler (4.4 x 4.4 x 8): 18 bales per hour and Smaller Baler (3.8) over 3.5 bales per minute.  As well the employees in the Bog should be included in the productivity incentives as without them doing the prep work in the Bog there would be no moss to bale. In his response to that position, Tim Yanis referred to his previous response which was quoted above. I will be meeting with union rep, Ron Allard, to discuss possible action to have the Employer comply with the language in Appendix B-3 of the collective agreement. Such action could include the filing of a grievance and/or contacting the President and/or Vice-President of Premier. Should you have any questions in regards to this update, please contact me at toll-free at 1-888-832-9832. Mary Johnson UFCW Local 832 Negotiator.

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