GM CHAIRPERSON REPORTS – 2024

GMIN Update & General News      

January 24th, 2024      

 GMIN Update – The Union is pleased to report to all production members impacted by the GMIN shuffle that their date of entry into the plant will now be recognized along with their full-time conversion date followed by their gmin from low to high to determine their plant seniority. We were striving to do what was right and restore fairness for those that were negatively impacted.

While this is less of an issue in previous rounds of smaller full-time hirings, this last round of 154 conversions highlighted the adverse effects of such a large group being sorted solely by gmin order from low to high. This shuffle seen members with 3yrs of service end up near the bottom of their full-time hire group because of a high gmin number, while others who may have only had a year of service were placed higher in their group because they had a lower gmin number. With indefinite layoffs pending for the retooling of our plant, the urgency to get this done was a priority for me.

When the gmin letter was agreed to 4yrs ago no one then could have known the kind of impact the gmin shuffle would have had until it happened, especially in a large group like this. This had the potential to be 30+ year problem and we needed to find a way to make it fair and equitable for everyone. Former SWEs had the 5-digit clock number to keep them in plant entry order. The Union’s priority was to find a way to honor plant entry time for the gmin group in a similar way to the old clock number did for the SWEs.

We listened to the stories from our Local 199 members, we received support of the National Union,  local day shift bargaining and benefit committee representatives were able to share their input as well on this issue with local company leadership this week. Even though we struggled through initial conversations in early November the Union stayed persistent in this cause because we needed to make it right, not just for today but on a going forward basis.

After many discussions and hearing the impact to our members the union was pleased to hear this week that the company also wanted to make it right for our members. We worked collaboratively to come to an agreement to honor date of entry for all new hires hired since September 2020.

With this new development this will cause a delay in receiving February’s plant wide seniority list. Once we receive the new list from the company, we will repost it in the west clock house with the updated changes.

Layoff notices will be rescinded and reissued to the appropriately affected members who were last on the updated seniority list. For those members impacted please see Vince Filice in the EI office in the West Clock house for any layoff questions and see Lawrence in the same office for any benefit questions you may have.

For those impacted by the EV layoff you have Union Resources available to you that are encouraged to utilize. As we published in our ratification material every fulltime worker has gainful employment when the Electric Drive Units land. Every fulltime member has contractual call back rights as per 54F of the Master Agreement. This call back option has also been made available locally for the TPTs who are getting laid off who remain in good standing. To be clear, ALL fulltime members will be called back before any TPT.

EV Transition – Just for clarification, the week of January 28th 2024 is the official start of the EV transition.

Transfers – The 2024 Transfer list is now taking transfers. Updates to this list occur every Wednesday. Contact your Committeeperson for any assistance you may need. Reminder – there is a max of 4 entries. Submit all your entries online in consecutive order from 1st preference to last.

TEMPORARY PREFERENTIAL HIRE REQUEST *UPDATE* Calls have been placed to both Cami and Oshawa to see if there are opportunities to temporarily pref-hire to these locations. At this moment neither Oshawa nor Cami are in a position to take St. Catharines members. We are asking if any members who are interested in this potential option if/when it becomes available to leave their updated contact info in the Trades Union office.

 Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson

On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

cope343/nw

 

 

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Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports

 

 

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V6 End of Life Update    

January 11, 2024 

 Layoff Numbers – Thursday, the Company handed out layoff notices to those members who will be impacted by the first phase of layoffs that are related to the End of Life of High Feature V6. After looking at past layoff announcements from the Company it was noticed they never announced the number of people impacted but many members have been asking for those numbers. Low Seniority Production Members impacted – 30, Low seniority IMMs impacted – 23, Low seniority Electricians impacted – 19.

Layoffs – Why are we doing a forced layoff by seniority instead of a voluntary inverse layoff?

This question from members has come to the Union’s attention this week and we would like to clarify this issue for our members so there is no misunderstanding. Since April of 2023 the Bargaining Committee has met with the Company many times to try and prepare for the eventual End of Life for V6 and the manpower movements that would follow. From the very beginning the Union has tried to negotiate and volunteer Inverse layoff just like we’ve done so often in the past. However, we have not been able to get the Company to agree to an inverse for the retooling period for a couple of reasons. The Company has stated there are additional costs of an inverse layoff for this extended length of time and the retooling period itself exceeds our temporary layoff language. The duration of the retooling period isn’t specifically known but it is projected to be at least 12-18 months. This timeline is dependent on many factors that are outside of St. Catharine’s control, such as tear out, infrastructure build back, machine delivery and install, safety and quality test runs, ect. With a project this size there is the potential for delays, just like we seen with the DCT installation.

Since the Union is unable to get an agreement with the Company for an inverse layoff, our remaining option was to follow our Local Language which lays out the contractual process for members to exercise their seniority on a plant-wide basis.  This can be found on page 9&10 of the Local, paragraph 17 B 3.

CALL BACK RIGHTS – members will be called back to work in line with their seniority. Contractually members with less than 1 year of seniority have 3 yrs call back rights and members with more than 1 yr seniority have 5yr call back rights as per paragraph 54 F of the Master Agreement on pg38.

Drive Unit Department – is currently scheduled to populate a small number of trades members this summer to work with engineering with the majority of trades and production to populate in the 2nd quarter of 2025. All positions to the Drive Unit Department will be populated by seniority through transfers.

EI information – Vince Filice and Adam Nie are ready and available to help answer any member’s questions pertaining to EI. He has updated information from negotiations that highlights the gains made to the EI/SUB program. Please visit his office beside the elevator in the West Clock House for more information.

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Benefits information – Lawrence Robson is also located in the same office beside the elevator and can answer your benefit questions. If you have been given a layoff notice this week, be sure to visit these reps to get the information you need and the answers to your EI and Benefit questions.

Pension/Incentive – Ken MacLean has been the busiest person in the plant this week. He is working hard to use his knowledge to provide great service to all our members by taking the incentive. Thank you Ken for your diligence and long hours as you serve all the members preparing to retire. To our members who have taken the incentive, Congratulations again!

New

TEMPORARY PREFERENTIAL HIRE REQUEST – Calls have been placed to both Cami and Oshawa to see if there are opportunities to temporarily pref-hire to these locations. Our current contractual language is for permanent Pref Hire situations, but the call has been made to see if a temporary opportunity is available for our retooling period. As details become available, we will provide them in future updates.

GMIN # – The Union is in continuous discussions with the Company to address this issue to make it right. As details become available, we will share with all new hires.

 

Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

 

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

cope343/nw

Click here for printable version

 

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports

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January 3, 2024 

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back – I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holidays and were able to spend time with the ones you care about most.

IMPORTANT! As we get back to work, we all need to be reminded to think, act and work safely as we go about our work within these walls, our future depends on it.

What many members may not be aware of, as we were closing out 2023 in the month of November and December our energy control violations were trending in the wrong direction. They were on the rise. This is a very concerning trend towards the end of the year that we need to reverse. It’s on all of us to work safely and follow our energy control procedures properly. Our plant has more than enough reason to be vigilant in not having another critical injury.

It doesn’t pay to cut corners with safety. In fact, just the opposite. An energy control or lock out violation comes with an automatic 3 day served discipline. Note: The Union has never needed to represent any member for working safely. Part of our job is to follow GM safety policies. WE urge everyone at the start of this New Year to take the time to work safely and properly follow all ASA & Lockout procedure. You are being paid to work safe, not fast. If you encounter instruction to do otherwise this must be escalated immediately to your rep or to the safety department.

Congratulations – to all 104 members who applied for the incentive into retirement. This was a demand from members to achieve at Bargaining and we are to have delivered for these 104 members. We all wish you the very best in retirement. Congratulations again!

WE are not authorized to share names for privacy reasons, but the breakdown is 74 Production and 30 Trades. As the Company plans for the manpower changes ahead, the Union will stay close to those discussions and provide details to the membership as soon as we are able.

Note: These discussions are very fluid and details are changing on an hourly basis sometimes. This is made more challenging since the corporation has yet to provide publicly a definitive end date for the V6, which is like trying to hit a moving target.

Transfer news – For the first 3 weeks of January the current transfer list will be frozen. Monday January 22nd is the 4th Monday of the month which is the expiry date of the old transfer list. New submissions can be made after this date. A new transfer list for 2024 will be created the following week on Monday, January 29th with new submissions as per Local Language – Supplement No.1 of the Local Seniority Agreement pg17 & 18. After the first week the transfer list will be updated every Wednesday at 3pm. We can use the same QR code as last year to submit transfers. Contact your Rep if you have any questions. For New Hires, you must have 1 year of seniority to be eligible to submit your transfers.

This year will be filled with changes and challenges as we retool our plant to prepare for Drive Units. To clear up any mis-information on the floor, the anticipated plan is still to proceed with a plantwide seniority bump. If this anticipated plan changes we will communicate it to the membership.

Volumes

V6 – End of production for assembly is scheduled for the week of January 8th. Headline has small volume until the end of February.

There are discussions on how to best celebrate the successful run of the HFV6 Engine, and the hundreds of people who’ve helped build them. This department has been the backbone of St. Catharines Quality and reputation for more than 2 decades, with numerous awards and countless memories.

V8 – Steady at 3 shifts in machining and 3 shifts in assembly. There is a constraint of V8 blocks in the system. There is the potential for supply interruptions, but the demand is very high from our customer, so every engine we make is going into a sold truck.

GF6 – volumes in the GF6 are stable with one shift in assembly with 3 shifts in machining. Plans are being developed to go to 2 shifts in machining. More information to follow.

DCT – is steadily running on one shift.

Union Awareness – Vince Guardari our Workplace Training Coordinator and his team of trainers led by Ashley Kofsky have done a great job delivering the Workplace Training material since ratification. I want to thank the entire team for all their efforts in providing a great atmosphere for education and dialogue. A new module is nearly finished being developed for the team to be trained on. We hope to have that available by the summer.

New for Attendance Program – All 6 Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days reload January 1st. PEL’s can now be used on the weekend without the need to substantiate. Once all PEL days have been used substantiation will be required for each absence thereafter.

 

Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

 No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

cope343/nw

 

Click here for printable version