LL692 Members’ Skill at Pro Mac Manufacturing Wins Great Agreement

Nathan Lerner sm

Shop Steward, Nathan Lerner

Pro Mac Manufacturing in Duncan, BC, is the largest independent Machine Shop / Fabrication Shop on Vancouver Island. Our Members undertake everything from precision machining, gear cutting and major fabrication to field repairs. The Company has a large variety of equipment including bevel gear cutters, CNC machining centres, 5 axis CNC turning centres, large boring mills and a custom built heat treating machine.

Jenna Crooks

Jenna Crooks

Traditional among the highest paid on the Vancouver Island, our Members have ratified a new Collective Agreement which maintains that distinction.

Dave Lionis

Dave Lionis

Janelle Dodge sm

Janelle Dodge

Wages will increase by 3%, 2.5% and 2% over the next three years plus an additional $108 will deposited into every Members Retirement Saving every month and up to $140 will be added to pay cheques each month as a bonus. Considering the low inflation climate of the economy, these are significant increases.

An increase of overtime meal allowances to $20, a subsidy of custom ear plugs and clarification of the conditions of employment for Part Time employment of retired Members round out this agreement.

Brad Howe

Brad Howe

Given the solid increases in compensation contained within the new Collective Agreement, it is no surprise the deal was accepted by an 83% margin.

Pascal Roy-Boutreau gives the deal the thumbs-up.

Pascal Roy-Boutreau gives the deal the thumbs-up.


Candace Walmsley

Candace Walmsley

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The “Real” Economy Verses the “Paper” Economy and Our Pensions

Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford

Participants in the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ 47th Annual Canadian conference had a chance to listen to a keynote address by Jim Stanford, Unifor’s economist. Jim addresses the split between the Real Economy which produces useful goods and services and the Paper Economy which creates, sells and buys financial assets and the impact this has on the viability of our Pensions.

Jim drew attention to the Financialization of the Canadian and World economies. Quoting a definition for Financialization from G. Epstein, “Increasing importance of financial markets, financial institutions and financial elites in the operation of the economy and its governing institutions”, Jim characterized it as the over development and over importance of the financial sector (the “paper economy”) relative to the real economy.

real and paper

In the Paper Economy, the Stock Market sets values separate from need and use, whereas in the Real Economy a brewery produces product which have value and fills a real need.

Jim regretted that our pre-funded Pensions have contributed to the Financialization trend, creating a culture of stock marketing and assessing financial risks. This runs counter to the real economics of pensions. Future pensions will have to be paid out of real future production, not the paper of stocks and bonds.

The Myth of the Apple Tree

apples and paper

Financial apples and apples are not the same thing

Financial accumulation is not about “saving real apples”, Jim continued. In fact the reality is, financial markets hurt real growth. Countries with less Financialization invest and grow faster because money goes to real projects that make things rather than the moribund corporations in Canada which accumulate cash in the form of “dead money”. Money held but not used in the economy. Financialization does nothing to increase future apple production which will be shared between working and retired workers. In fact, financialization probably actually reduces future growth of production.

Looking at the three legs of retirement income in Canada, Jim noted the performance of Old Age Security (OAS), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and private and workplace plans and savings. Neither the OAS nor the CPP use financial institutions to manage their funds, both are reliable and give strong performance, unlike our RRSPs, which are controlled by financial institutions and have poor performance and are extremely volatile with wild swings in value.

For the future, Jim recommends concentrating on future growth of the Real Economy which will be shared by retirees and workers. Public plans (OAS and CCP) must be protected and expanded by public pressure. As for the third leg, we must do what we can to focus on efficiency and security. Pension Plans can and will play a role but RRSPs need to be replaced with something more secure and efficient.

The Collective Approach

By pooling risk and using good management, higher returns and lower fees make a substantial difference in the size of pensions paid than when financial institutions are extracting profits from retirement savings. The CPP is the best Defined Benefit program in the country and should be expanded but the financial institutions and business lobby groups would like to see it eliminated. Private sector employers feel no obligation to provide Pensions unless Unions put them forward in bargaining. West Jet has no pension for its employees, even though it earned over $260 million in 2013. This pressures Air Canada who does have Pension to cut or eliminate them just to compete.

Jim is clear that defending and expanding Public Pensions is primary, but we must be looking to expand the Real Economy so there will be increased resources to share in the years to come.

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CLC Launches Canada-wide Political Campaign to Protect Collective Bargaining Rights


IAM at the Fairness Works session

IAM delegates from both District Lodge 140 and District Lodge 250 participated in a conference of Union leaders convened by the CLC to launch the Fairness Works Campaign

The Labour movement is not just about decent jobs.
It’s about a better life, for everyone.

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Members at Geo Tech Industries OK Three Year Agreement


Fabricator Val Alatiit

Geo Tech is a fabrication and machine shop specialising in stainless steel and large fabrications. Located across the road from the Crofton pulp mill, 60% of Geo Tech’s work is in the field. The shop fabricates assemblies that are installed throughout British Columbia. The crews also go to Cube each year to work on major industrial projects.

This is a COLA shop. Wage increases automatically follow the Consumer Price Index. After twenty years of near parity with our other shops in the area, due to low inflation over the last couple of years, wages have lagged a little behind. The employer agreed to a wage adjustment of 2% at the beginning of the Collective Agreement to partially close the gap. The company position was to continue with the uncapped COLA as both sides take an equal risk, the employees during low inflation and the employer during high inflation. In the end, the Members decided not to try to change the compensation system and will continue with the COLA system.

Beside the immediate 2% increase, the new Agreement contained the following improvements:

  • Provision for four day ten-hour work week for shop and field employees
  • Vision care benefit providing eye glasses and frames replacement for employees and insured family members once every two years to a maximum of $300.00
  • Company will pay up to $200.00 every two years toward Prescription Safety Glasses for employees from the OVP Plan
  • A maximum of 80 overtime hours can be banked per year
  • All unused banked hours will be paid out on the last paycheck of the year
  • $20.00 meal allowance paid to employees who work a 12 hour shift or greater
  • Travel Pay will now be indexed
  • Living Out Allowance increased to $60.00/day plus accommodation or $100.00/day without accommodation
  • Family Day added to Statutory holidays
  • Field Worker Letter Of Understanding
    • Wage Table: Rate of Pay = shop rate + 5.5 per cent
    • Holiday and Vacation Pay: 12 per cent on paycheck, up from 8.4%
    • Health and Welfare payment raised by $0.47 / hour to $2.16 per hour
    • Employer contribution of 10% Retirement savings to be paid on each cheque
Corey Croghan charge hand sm

Machinist and Charge Hand Corey Croghan

The Members have been busy over the last three years and, with this new Agreement, look forward to three more.

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Plan Now for 2013 Retirees Conference

source: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/imail/latest/11705-plan-now-for-2013-retirees-conference-

Attendees of the 2012 Regional Retirees Conference in Atlantic City, NJ.

Are you ready to have fun with IAM Brothers and Sisters and safeguard hard-won union benefits?  If so, join us for the 2013 Retirees Conference at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel. In the past, an average of 750 Brothers and Sisters have gathered to reminisce and strategize essential topics such as Medicare, Social Security, organizing, mentoring and other important issues for workers and retirees alike. The conference will begin on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 2 PM and end on Thursday, November 21, 2013 with a dinner banquet.  Live music will be provided by our union brothers and sisters at the banquet. A small registration fee will entitle you to conference material, two breakfasts and the banquet. We have negotiated an excellent hotel rate.  For more information, click here for the call letter and here for the registration form and hotel information. Please share this information with any retirees who may be interested.  However, you don’t have to be a retiree to attend the conference; officers and current members are more than welcome to attend, as well.

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