To: All BMRF/B&P Employees
The purpose of this note is to keep you informed on bargaining.
Bargaining Session #52; October 26, 2021
We met with the union yesterday, for the first time since the union ratification vote on October 19. As we told the union, yesterday’s meeting was disappointing. As you know, even after the Company made several union requested progressive changes to the proposal, the union put on an extensive campaign against the offer. Yesterday, the Union did not provide any additional details regarding what portions of the Company’s offer specifically drove their ‘vote no’ campaign or the employee vote results, and rather than discuss key bargaining issues critical to reaching a ratified deal, the union focused on decertification, employee bulletin messaging, and the Company supporting decertification.
Toward the end of the meeting, the union presented the Company with a new comprehensive proposal, their first since August. As we told the union yesterday evening, their proposal includes several items that the Company has repeatedly rejected through their add-on, mini, and comprehensive proposals over the prior 9+ months of bargaining. After a thorough review, we rejected this proposal.
Bargaining Session #53; October 27, 2021
We met with the union again today and discussed the many issues we had with their proposals. As we stated, most of these proposals have been discussed at length during the 50+ bargaining meetings beginning in January. In an attempt to reach an agreement prior to the November 1 deadline, we enhanced our offer again. We verbally proposed agreeing to an additional holiday with our existing offer, which the union has long requested. Unfortunately, the union laughed and stated that it would “never happen.”
Lastly, the union ended the meeting by providing a copy of their proposed return to work agreement, stating that they intended to begin bargaining this second agreement regardless of whether this bargaining continues “for 6 days, 6 weeks, or 6 months.” Unfortunately, we are no closer to an agreement today than at any other point in the last 9 months.
As we reminded the union, the Company’s offer remains available at this time and the offer will change effective November 1 if it is not ratified by that time. That reduced offer would be available for employees to take to a vote until further notice. While the union has the right to continue to propose items that have been previously rejected for an additional 9 months, the Company’s bargaining objectives, as communicated since January, have not changed.
In the meantime, we will continue to operate our facility safely and reliably with our fully trained staff. Though the November 1 deadline is around the corner, the Company and union will be in arbitration through the end of this week. The next meeting between the parties is currently being scheduled.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions. You can find more information at www.embeaumont.com.