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From the desk of the President - September 2011
Published: September 9, 2011

This summer has been hectic. As a Union, we have been busy opening our Campgrounds to the public and our members and it is going very well. The comments from some of our seasonal campers are good and we will grow as demand will be exceeding the number of lots we have available.

Our Campground Managers, Gord and Shirley, are doing an outstanding job of maintaining and promoting our Campgrounds.

The Pensioners also need to be commended for their commitment and assistance in ensuring our Local remains in the forefront. This was evident this past Labour Day.

As an organization, we now have almost 1,850 members from 18 different companies, as some of our workplaces are expanding and also, with the recent addition of the Unit of St. Gabriel's Villa in Chelmsford.

This expansion also means more work for the President and also more Units that need to be looked after and contracts bargained.

The Unit Chair and representatives from each Unit are doing a top notch job of policing their collective agreements and in many cases, working on their upcoming contract negotiations.

This year is a very busy year as we, as a Local, had 10 contracts to renew. So far we have five done successfully and hopefully, the five remaining will end up in the same manner. In the last two years, we have successfully bargained 13 consecutive contracts, which means no labour disruptions. All of that success is possible because of the dedication of the bargaining committees and more importantly, it is because of the tremendous support that the members of each Unit provided to their elected leadership.

Let's keep it up. As a team, we will move mountains, but also as important, we need to keep working professionally and safely so that we return home unhurt to our families, each and every shift.

I personally wish that I could visit each and every Unit more frequently, but this year, with all the bargaining, arbitrations and the many other duties of this office, including running the business, there are only so many hours in a day. But I am always only a phone call away, if there are issues I can help with.

It is important to note that an informed membership has a strong voice at the workplace and that eventually improves the working conditions in each of our areas.

If there is a need, we can set up special meetings to deal with Unit-specific issues to ensure that the right message is communicated. If that is your preference, let your representatives know and we surely will try to set this up. If not, please attend our General Membership meeting at the Campgrounds. See your Union Board for information on the next meeting.

We all know that in the next few weeks, we will be having provincial elections, which will surely impact each and every one of our lives. Because of the importance of this upcoming election, our CAW National Office is offering information sessions to help our members understand the importance of voting, and its impact. This session is presented by our National President, Ken Lewenza.

If you would like to met him and listen to this presentation, he will be in Sudbury on September 20th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at our Campground Craft Shop building. If you can attend, I am sure Ken would love to meet you.

See you there.

With respect always,

Yours in Solidarity,
Richard Paquin, President
Mine Mill Local 598/CAW

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