Alberta Local 99 Committee Completes Bargaining Prep

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Top row from left to Right –Mike Brown, Secretary /Treasurer Lodge 99 & District 14 Del; Neil Rudiger, President, Lodge 99 & Secretary/Treasurer of District 14; Ryan Ermet, Chief Shop Steward Lodge 99 & District 14 Delegate; Mark Meldrum, Chief Shop Steward, Lodge 99 & District 14 Delegate.

Bottom row left to right – Jason Rockwell, V.P. Lodge 99 & V.P. District 14; Bob MacKinnon, DBR District 14; John Lahey, Chief Shop Steward Lodge 99, & District 14 Delegate; Don Seel, Chief Shop Steward & Trustee Lodge 99 & District 14 Delegate.

Eight representatives from Local 99 in Edmonton, AB recently took part in the Negotiations Preparation Class at William W. Winpisinger Education & Technology Center to prepare for upcoming contract negotiations with Vancouver, BC-based Finning International.

The 1,750 IAM members employed by Finning in Alberta and the Northwest Territories provide maintenance and servicing of heavy equipment used in the tar sands oil projects and natural gas industry. Finning recently reported record third quarter revenues of $1.6 billion, a 21 percent increase over third quarter earnings for 2011.

“Finning is the dominant player when it comes to providing heavy equipment for the booming oil and gas industry in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland,” said Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner, who worked with the committee throughout their week-long class. “Their success as a company is in large part due to the productivity and professionalism of the IAM members there and they deserve to be compensated accordingly.”

The Negotiations Prep Class at the WWW Center provides expertise and resources that allow negotiating committees to examine in detail the financial profile of their employer as well as compensation and benefits throughout the industry. Given the unique nature of this particular bargaining unit, with remote worksites requiring frequent travel, the committee also focused on creating a communications plan to ensure all members have an opportunity to track the progress of negotiations.

“This committee is well prepared to deal with the issues Finning will bring to the table and to be as aggressive as we need to be to achieve a good agreement for our membership,” said District 14 DBR Bob MacKinnon. “The instructors and training we received were first class and our committee feels much better prepared to secure the changes our members want to see in their new contract.”