Message from the LL869 President
To all members, RRC Bargaining Unit
We are in an unprecedented situation right now and obviously this raises a lot of concerns and questions within our ranks. Your union uses various means to stay in contact with its members in order to reassure them and keep them informed as much as possible, within a reasonable time. Among these means deployed, we find, among others, emails, the Local 869 web page and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In the past few days, I have read several negative and hurtful comments towards your union representatives on these different platforms. I want to remind you that from the start of our mandate, we have always advocated freedom of expression, but also that rumors and questions should be addressed to us directly so that we can respond adequately and quickly. In this regard, I remind you that respect is strongly recommended and that any insolent language is unacceptable.
However, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to write to us. Your opinion is important to us. Several questions, related to our position versus that taken by LL2468, were raised. Obviously, I cannot go into detail on the discussions made with the Employer and LL2468, but it is my duty to explain certain points surrounding these meetings.
Monday, March 23, 2020
I was contacted by the Employer late in the evening, explaining that following the Legault government’s announcement, Rolls-Royce Canada would temporarily close its doors. During a conference call with Human Resources representatives, LL869 RRC Shop Chairman, Hrvoje Golek and LL2468 VP, Ivan Halar, we were made aware of the concerns of our Employer.
•At that time, the latter did not have a game plan and was rather in listening mode.
• Following this conversation, LL869 and LL2468 decided to meet the next morning to work together to overcome this crisis.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
We have implemented a series of scenarios, which have been carefully studied and analyzed. Our options offered to the Company were judged by the entire group to be fair and reasonable, considering the emergency situation, as well as respectful of our respective collective agreements.
• After presenting everything to the Employer at the end of the morning, the Human Resources representatives took the day to come back to us. In the evening, we had a conference call to listen to their response. I say listen, because the Employer was not even able to provide us with a Word document, claiming that their email server was down! This is the kind of working relationship that your representatives have to deal with, and this on a weekly basis!
• We anticipated some refinements from the Employer regarding the options offered, but unfortunately, this was not the case. The latter, failing to refine our proposal, completely cannibalized 9 of the 10 solutions that we had submitted. They even rejected an option that they themselves had proposed the day before on the phone!
• The clock was ticking and we did not feel the seriousness of the Company in the face of all this.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
• In the impasse, it was decided by the Company that all the members were going to be temporarily laid off, excluding the members who were going to be called back by the Company to perform work, deemed essential.
DIFFERENT outcomes for LL869 and LL2468
The reason why LL869 and LL2468 did not result in the same outcome is easily explained by the following;
• At the time of this writing, you are working with an expired employment contract. Negotiations with the Employer are imminent and this is not the case for LL2468.
• Rolls-Royce has offered to “lend” the calculated hours caused by this closure. On the other hand, upon returning to work, the employee will have to reimburse these “loaned” hours by various means including holidays, hours put in bank or even by overtime worked beyond the 40 hours worked, all remunerated at simple time and not at our 1.75 overtime rate. This was considered completely contrary to our Collective Agreement and Labor Standards laws.
• Given the magnitude of the situation, knowing very well that the engine lines are currently producing their minimum and that the Trent 1000 is still not in place, we asked the Company to guarantee the additional time in order to reimburse these “loaned” hours. It was a categorical refusal.
• In exchange, they proposed to reduce members’ pay by 25% as of January 2021 in order to be reimbursed for these “loaned” hours. So, all the hours worked overtime would go towards the simple ’single-time’ repayment of this ‘’debt’’.
• Imagine now that these 3 weeks of closure turn to 4-5-6 weeks… Our members would have been indebted to the Employer and this, exponentially until all the hours were repaid in simple time!
• Now think of the leverage that we would have lost in the next negotiations if this had been accepted!
For LL2468, this is a completely different situation because:
• They have fewer hours to reimburse.
• They can bank flexible time every day. That is to say, whether overtime or not, they have the option of ‘’ flex ’’ in order to repay their “loan” to Rolls-Royce.
• Being a smaller group, and able to work from home, this reality will affect a smaller number of members by “debt”, unlike the members of LL869.
• The fact that their employment contract does not end before the end of 2020 is a significant variable in this whole equation.
Let us mention now the other industries. You have to take the same approach.
• Are they currently in negotiations?
• Do they offer an essential service or not?
• Do they have the same working relationships that we live in-house at Rolls-Royce? For example, during our proposal this week, we requested a simple request from the Employer. We requested reimbursement for all of our members for the day of forced closure on us, that is, March 24, 2020. The employer’s response was an unequivocal refusal.
Since March 25, 2020
Some have criticized us for not being flexible enough with the Employer. I assure you that my team has been more than flexible and tolerant on various issues over the past few years. The committees in place and all the delegates, whether it is the last delegate or the Shop Chairman, passing by the committees of CNESST, Social Delegates, Training and so on; make it their duty to represent and protect you on a daily basis. They have to face negative situations on a regular basis and unfortunately our members are not aware of this, do not feel it and do not see it. This is a full-time job, which takes a lot of energy, strength and will to protect your rights and the Collective Agreement. Ensuring that each item is respected and followed is a job that my team does with grace and honor.
Again, I emphasize that ALL of your elected officials are doing a remarkable job and I do not expect them to be more flexible than they already are. On the contrary, I want to congratulate them, thank them from the bottom of my heart and above all give them my absolute support every day.
The Company must admit that on several occasions, when they asked for help from the Union, we answered the call. Again, WE proposed solutions which were rejected by the Employer. WE have folded on some points of the Collective Agreement to get through this global crisis, but the Employer wanted more concessions.
Rest assured that as long as I am your President of LL869, I will not accept that the Company takes advantage of a situation like this. Unfortunately, this was the direction envisaged by the Employer and these discussions with your elected representatives were going in this direction, which could not be allowed or even be considered.
For your information, I am in regular contact with our colleagues from Unite, the Union representing our Rolls-Royce workers in the United Kingdom, and I have learned that Rolls-Royce PLC has asked its employees to stay at home next week and that no loss of wages would be suffered.
Another concern addressed by our membership was that we made a decision without discussing it with all members of LL869. Once again, rest assured that any deviation from this Collective Agreement will be subject to a submitted vote, including a question and answer period within an extraordinary meeting.
In the current situation, since we are not deviating from our collective agreement, we must trust our union structure. It must be remembered that we are all elected representatives in place to make decisions, and especially in these critical moments.
Dear Friends, Colleagues, Brothers and Sisters, now more than ever you have to trust yourself, stand up in unity, in order to get through the coming months.
Let us be united, Let us be…
MORE UNITED THAN EVER.