Spring 2013 Edition of Our Newsletter Northwest News

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12 page NWN

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Machinist Union Members at Brown Bros. Ford Ratify New Three Year Agreement

Steve Lockart (front) and Ming Liu, Partsmen

Steve Lockart (front) and Ming Liu

Union Members at Brown Bros. Ford in Vancouver BC have a new three year agreement. The agreement includes a 2% increase in each year. When compared to a Consumer Price Index for Vancouver in November 2012 of 0.2%, this is a substantial increase.

(l to r) Al Parayno and Gearge Ng

The right of our Members to have a Shop Steward present at any meeting which may lead to discipline further strengthens their rights and protections under the Collective Agreement. 


Harvie Schnellert

Members will now enjoy an 11th statutory holiday on Family Day in February.


Karen Frig, Shop Steward

Taken together, the substantial real increase above inflation, a new holiday and the strengthened member protection further strengthen what was a first class contract.

Sonny Dhanda

Sonny Dhanda

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Bargaining Unit Workers at West Coast Ford Lincoln Now All Machinists

The Rand Formula was a tremendous breakthrough for Canadian Unions (to learn more click here). For the first time in Canada, employers were required to deduct dues from every employee in the bargaining unit and forward the funds to the Union. All the services Unions in Canada provide are anchored by the dependable flow of dues. Under the Rand Formula, membership in the Union is optional but dues are not.


The vast majority of Machinists work in Union shops where, as a condition of employment, everyone joins the Union. But a few shops still were under the Rand Formula where membership, but not dues, was optional. Business Representative, Andrew Tricker, worked hard to make the dealership all Union.West Coast Ford Lincoln was under the Rand Formula but with the ratification of a new Collective Agreement, all workers in the Bargaining Unit are now members of the Machinists.

Wage increases of 1.5%, 1.75% and 2% form the basis of the new agreement. The tool allowance has been increased to $360.00 per year by 2014. Rounding out this three year deal, grandparents and in-laws have been added to the bereavement leave.

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UnioNation, The IAM Labour Music Project Gives A Debut Concert

IAM Labour Music Program 2012

After an incredible and intensive week, 25 Machinist from all corners of North America put together a concert for IP Tom Buffenbarger and over a hundred Machinists in the theatre at our educational campus in southern Maryland, The William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3 Center).

The concentration of talent was great but egos were checked at the door as, under the direction of Educational Representative Henry Bagwell and Co-Chair Cody Wilder, the Trade Unionists co-operated and collaborated to bring out the best in each song.

District Lodge 250 supported two Members to join the ensemble. Ron Messner of Local Lodge 11 brought his original composition, `Working Man`s Pride` and Local Lodge 1857`s Brad Seefried rocked with his song, ” I AM a Working Man`. Brad also brought his Rock Band experience to bear to run the sound board the entire week. Business Representative Alastair Haythornthwaite performed his poem, ‘Sleeping Giant’, with an adhoc country band. All musicians did double duties, backing up others in their songs.

From re-working classics like Whole Lotta Loving and White Rabbit to orginal songs, the concert was a reminder of how diverse our Membership is in culture and interests and yet how we come together for common goals. The musical styles ran the gambit from traditional folk through jazz, country and pop to some great full ahead rock.

IP Buffenbarger did not hide his satisfaction with the concert and invited all participants to perform in September at the 2012 grand Lodge Convention in Toronto. There will be another IAM Music Project next summer for a new crop of Labour musicians. Any Member interest should contact their Local or Business Representative.

Video recording was made of the entire concert which will be available shortly. Until that time here is a report from the  Machinists News Network.



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Solidarity Pays Off For Inland Kenworth (Nanaimo) Machinists

Commercial Transport Mechanic Apprentice Collin Dorset started as a lubeman



At Contract negotiations both side have their needs, wants and issues. Part of the Bargaining Process is the winnowing through competing lists of proposals to find out what really matters to each party.

Machinists at Inland Kenworth (Nanaimo) were faced with a challenge after the first round of bargaining. The money was adequete, given the economy, and specific issues such as carrying the company phone had been resolved but the employer was wed to three items which appeared to be Must Haves.

Collin Cardin mans the Parts Counter

After the first Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was rejected, a rotating layoff proposal was withdrawn at the second round. But proposals restricting the by-seniority scheduling of vacation on the calendar to full weeks (though a senoir emplyee was excluded so he could attend his daughters BMX National meets) and a proposal to allow voluntary scheduling of December statutory holidays still remained.

Steve Portlock and Wade Donkersley access technical specs

The 2nd MOA was turned down when voting split 50-50. It appeared the Union bargaining was running out of gas. The company refused to budge and so a strike vote was held. If that strike vote had failed the matter would have end there and the Union signed the last MOA.  But instead, it made all the difference.

The Members talked amongst themselves and made sure the Bargaining Team had a solid mandate to continue, voting 90% in favour of strike action. Suddenly, the company reversed its earlier position and withdrew all the contentious proposals.

The MOA was quickly ratified, showing how solidarity is the most effective arrow in the Union quiver. The workers in Nanimo were the last of Inland Kenworth’s Union branches to settle a new agreement. Building on the other units settlements, the Nanaimo machinists received:

  •  2% – 2% – 2% with COLA protection to 3% in the last year
  • an increase to $2,000 for the yearly dental allowances
  • $100 per week for carrying the company phone
  • $3 per hour for field work
  • a $1 increase for equipment mechanics
  • further wage increases through certification premiums for
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection tickets                $0.75/hr
    • Class 1 or 3 driving license                           $0.50/hr
    • Caterpillar Engine cert                                 $0.25/hr
    • MX engine cert                                              $0.25/hr
    • Cummins engine cert                                    $0.25/hr
    • Eaton Transmission cert                              $0.25/hr
  • increased First Aid Ticket premium of up to $1 per hour
  • 6 weeks vacation after 30 years
  • a joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee to oversee all ungrading and apprentices
  • a new classification for Resident Mechanic
  • Members to vote to join Machinists Pension Plan or remain with the employer Retirement Savings Plan

Taken all together, and considering the general economy, not a bad day’s work!

Chief Shop Steward and Bargaining Committee Member John Humphrey takes satisfaction in the Collective Agreement solidarity won

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