Union officials at the Tembec industrial complex are upset with news that 24 positions will be eliminated at the facility along with an addition of five new positions.

The news came down in what was supposed to be the first of three days of scheduled meetings between Unifor Local 233 and Tembec management.

“Our meeting was booked for 1 pm (Monday) and was expected to carry on until Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to resolve grievances proceeding into Arbitration as there are many articles we negotiated in December 2014 that they are not respecting and to our surprise, they hit this on us,” stated Unifor Local 233 President Roger Gauthier.

“You could just imagine our reaction.”

The layoff will come into effect on June 20th, however management says some of those laid off employees will continue to work during the summer to cover for holidays.

Gauthier says that’s not good enough.

“We will be contesting this decision and grieving it under our security of employment clause as there are no technological changes or permanent mill closures which in turn would allow them to proceed with a layoff,” stated Gauthier.

“This is obviously a hard hit to the membership and is not being taken lightly by our local. We will stand together united and continue discussions until Wednesday in an attempt to resolve this issue as well as many others problems we are having with the company since the ratification of our collective agreement.”
Unifor local 233 represents about 600 workers at the Tembec facility in Temiscaming.

The workers at Tembec are in year two of a four-year agreement that was ratified in December of 2014 after a three-week strike which began in late November of 2014.