I hope you and your loved ones are well and managing ok during this ongoing pandemic. Alberta is having its highest number of confirmed cases of Covid -19 since the pandemic started in mid-March. In these difficult times we need to keep in mind what is truly important and do our due diligence to keep each other safe.
It has been a while since my last update; however, I can assure you that we have been very busy with the day to day operations. As your Financial Secretary and lack of revenues projected (dues), we permanently laid off staff in the welding shop and the main building. This was not an easy decision however it has reduced our expenses by over $50,000.00 per month. There have also been various other expenditure cuts and to date that has been a cost saving of over $250,000.00.
We have been discussing how to hold union meetings while social distancing. The consensus is holding our union meeting over several consecutive nights in dispatch. The same agenda will be repeated at all the meetings. Members will be required to register via email or call the local to register. A confirmation email will be sent to each member confirming their date and registration. Please select an alternate night if possible and only register for the meeting if you know you can attend as we have capacity constraints.
I have been asked when we are opening dispatch to the members. As Manager, I would like nothing better than to see dispatch open to the members, hold our regular Union meetings, the RMA serving coffee, having their luncheon and crib tournaments, and the hall full of its members. However, as I have said since the start of this pandemic, we will not put staff, members, or anyone else in jeopardy. Online dispatch is working well. Members who require assistance with online dispatch, setting up an account, or logging in to their account are being assisted by staff when needed.
For convenience, there are drop boxes located at the front entrance of the main building inside the lobby. They are monitored throughout the day for members wanting to pay their dues, benefit claims, or paperwork. I remind everyone that online payments are the fastest option and most efficient.
The negotiations for the Fab Shops and ICI Agreements are presently on hold though we have been negotiating for quite sometime. I, as well as the Negotiating Committee are ready to go the distance if it means getting the best deal for you, our members.
I thank every member for their patience and following protocols the clients have put in place while still doing your job and representing our Local so well. I have spoken with a few clients and contractors and they are pleased with our performance and attitude. You are working under terms and conditions no other members have. I take my hat off to each and everyone one of you.
I was informed that some of our Officers are getting bashed on the unofficial Local 488 Facebook webpage. It is disappointing that a member would go on social media and tear down another member of their own local who were voted in as Officers. Every agent and rep’s phone numbers and email addresses are listed on our web page. If you have an issue or concern, please contact the person directly. Blasting ½ truths on social media benefits no one including our organization.
In closing, I am proud of how we have pulled together to keep things up and running. Everyone is giving their all. The committees are meeting, weld shop and pipeline yard are open, and members can see agents and reps via appointments.