Time for Important Decisions for Kaybob Lodge Employees

    Your union negotiating committee has just finished the latest round of negotiations with your employer, CIVEO, for our valued and newest members at Encana Kaybob Lodge. While we have negotiated many different protections, which help to ensure job security and rights that you all deserve, there are some careful and considered decisions that need to be made at this stage. In order to facilitate this, we are now making arrangements for a telephone town hall meeting so that all of you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the employer’s offer.

    Your union will also be present during voting on November 6th in case you have any lingering questions before you cast your ballot on the employer’s offer.

    Your employer has openly acknowledged that the protections offered in this deal would have not happened without you all having decided to join UFCW 401 and negotiate collectively. We wholeheartedly agree. The decision now remains with all of you at Encana Kaybob Lodge. Your union supports any decision you make. There are important considerations, context, and history to think about as you cast your ballot on your first employer offer for a proposed new Union Contract.

    People who have worked at Encana Kaybob Lodge long enough know that wages have been stagnant for far too long. You also know that the $4/hour wage increase that the employer threw at you this past spring ONLY came because you had the courage to join a union and subsequently fight for improvements in working conditions, benefits, and compensation in your workplace through collective bargaining.

    While we ask you to remember that you received a substantial wage increase months ago ONLY because you joined the union (a typical employer tactic to dissuade workers from continuing on in their collective bargaining efforts), we also encourage you to make up your own mind about how you cast your ballot. It is a very personal decision, one that we support, and there is much to consider. You have already made vast improvements throughout the negotiation process. You have already achieved things that would have been impossible without the strength of speaking collectively with one voice through your negotiating committee. Your employer has thrown a significant wage increase on the table early in the process to influence your decisions early on. Will that wage increase influence your decision now? That is up to you. This is why we strongly encourage you to participate in the telephone town hall meeting in the next few days. Your negotiating committee and union spokespersons will be available to talk to you about the decision you have before you; and that is to either accept or reject this offer. This requires careful consideration and we are here to talk about what’s important to you.

    Should this offer be rejected, the next step is government assisted mediation. We would then need to conduct a strike vote to determine the will of the membership should this be pushed to an impasse (neither side willing to budge further in order to secure a first contract). To be clear, a better offer will not happen without a very strong strike mandate. In other words, this is the time to decide if you think you’ve achieved improvements you can be proud to build upon in the coming years, or if you’re going to go on strike to demand more. And we are here to walk with you during this time of important choices.

    Should you have any additional questions please contact Saba Mossagizi at 780-920-3773 or smossagizi@ufcw401.ab.ca.