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To start with, thank you all for your hard work and patience throughout everything we have all faced these last couple years. It has been a trying time working through Bargaining, Grievances, and getting Labour Relations back on track while knowing that layoffs are coming.

Please give your Union reps a pat on the back for all the work they do in negotiations, Grievances and NOI’s, and information they relay back to us. They are difficult jobs and they do it for you and for us here at the Hall. At the same time I would like to acknowledge our Members (you) out at Genesee. Throughout all the adversity you have faced these last couple years, as well as layoffs looming, you have acted in a professional manner. Always proud of the work you do and ever showing that to the powers that be.

We have worked hard to rebuild a fractured relationship with Management at the plant. As some of you know, there are ups and downs with this involving NOI’s and language interpretation in the CBA. We have worked through this adversarial way of doing things and gotten to a place where we can work together, and they take notice when we have an issue or complaint. Union Management meetings have resumed and there is a good feeling of understanding there. We won’t always agree or even get along, but we have to be able to work together.

We will be starting up Unit meetings out there at the Genesee Community Hall every third Wednesday at 5:45pm.

I have enjoyed the times I’ve been able to come out and talk to you all during Covid so I’m looking forward to these.

Everyone is tired of Covid and the mandates. A lot of what has happened during Covid doesn’t add up nor does it make sense with the constant changes to policies and protocols. We are and have been doing our best to protect our Members from the virus, but at the same time protect their rights and privacy. This has affected literally everyone in the world and is a very contentious topic. There are many differing opinions on what the balance is between real or perceived safety, personal medical privacy, and Government as well as Company overreach. We have monitored very closely what is happening with other Companies, Unions, and Arbitration decisions and have conducted ourselves accordingly for the rights of our Members. While we believe that we all have a duty to keep ourselves and those around us safe, we do not believe that Companies can force or coerce people to do things against their will or beliefs even though they have. Please hang in there as we have been working and continue to work through uncharted territory.

A lot has gone on here in the last year and a half since I took office. We are very successful and effective in advocating for our Members and we do good work. We don’t win all our battles but there are many that we do. I am glad that I am here, and you all had faith in me. It is my privilege to work for you through these most difficult times.

As always, please continue to call or email us for any reason.


Thank you,

Steve Southwood
Business Manager, IBEW 1007

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