To: All BMRF/B&P Employees
The purpose of this note is to keep you updated regarding the bargaining between the Company and Union.
Since our June 10 Employee Information Bulletin, the Company and Union have met four times, including roughly 4 hours of bargaining sessions yesterday. The items the Union presented did not come close to meeting our previously stated objectives. After this meeting, the Company remains doubtful that an agreement will be reached any time soon.
Therefore, the Company is preparing for the potential of a longer work stoppage, by opening up a third class of contractor operators to train inside the facility. While the organization will continue to be staffed primarily by fully trained supervisors who started their careers in the field, we will continue to train and collaborate with competent contract work staff. We expect contracting agencies to begin working to fill our needs as early as next week.
It is also worth clarifying that our USW represented employees remain employed by the Company while locked-out and we look forward to welcoming them back when there is a ratified contract. The training and use of contractor operators does not prevent our represented employees from returning to work, but will help us to maintain headcount as the work stoppage progresses. To be clear, all employees would be returned to work when the lockout ends.
Moving forward, the Union has agreed to meet later this week in a sub-committee to continue discussions regarding wage progressions at the Blending and Packaging Plant.
At this time, the parties remain far apart, but the Company’s current offer remains available.