CORNER BROOK Being the last union without a contract is not affecting negotiations between Unifor Local 495, representing workers at Deer Lake Power, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., according to Gary Healey.
“I don’t think that it does anything,” said Healey, a national representative with Unifor, the new union formed by the merger of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) and the Canadian Auto Workers unions.
“It’s an element, but I don’t think it’s an overarching element. It’s just one of the elements that you have to deal with.”
Healey made the comments Friday when asked if he felt being the last group without a contract was adding any pressure to the talks. Especially, in light of the fact than an agreement between the mill’s parent company, Kruger Inc., and the provincial government hinges on issues with the workforce being settled.
“When they get their house in order and get all of that straightened out between them, then they know that we’re there to step right in and we’ll make announcements at that time,”said Premier Kathy Dunderdale at Humber Valley Resort on Thursday. Dunderdale wouldn’t provide specifics, but the agreement covers how $90 million allocated for company in Budget 2013 will be used.
Healey said negotiating collective agreements always brings its own set of difficulties.
“Both parties have an agenda that they’re trying to bring forward.”
And he said each round of bargaining has a set of circumstances that are probably unique to that negotiation and that applies in every negotiation in every industry.
Meanwhile, Healey wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the negotiations.
“What I can tell you,” he said, “is that the parties have been meeting over the last little while and continue to meet.”
He said there is no deadline in place to complete the process.
“We know that it’s a piece that needs to be completed sooner rather than later.”