Members of IAM Northwest District 250 in Canada, representing 850 employees at Caterpillar distributor Finning in Vancouver, BC, attended the William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees class in Hollywood, MD.
This is the first negotiating committee that Northwest District 250 has sent to the weeklong program.
“We heard that other groups had been pleased with their experiences participating in the class,” said District 250 Directing Business Representative Walter Gerlach. “Our experience as a group during the week exceeded our expectations. WWW Director Chris Wagoner and his group of dedicated instructors delivered a top notch week of learning which prepared the committee to develop their own personal strategic bargaining plan at every step of the process.”
The week was well spent by the group, as they worked long hours to develop a strategic plan and effective communication plan.
“When you have a membership of around 850 members employed at almost every corner of British Columbia and the Yukon, at 26 different locations, not including resident mechanics working at customer locations, you can quickly see why a strategic plan that includes a solid communication strategy would be vital to the bargaining committee and the negotiation process in general,” said Laura Tetreau who represents the Okanagan Kamloops area of British Columbia. “We learned how to come up with a strategic plan and how to better communicate to our members. We participated in a mock negotiation and learned how absolutely important it is to be prepared and have that plan in place.”
“As someone new to the bargaining process, I never realized how much work goes into the process long before anyone ever meets at the table,” said Chris MacDonald who represents members in Prince George.
“At the start of the week, as a group I believe we were unsure of the direction that this training would take us,” said Larry Lento who represents the Kootenay area. “By the end of the week, after carefully identifying our strengths and our weaknesses, the committee had established a strong bond.”
“There is no doubt in my mind after spending a week alongside this dedicated committee and seeing first hand their commitment and the sheer amount of hours they invested in creating their strategic plan that our members are in good hands,” said Business Representative and Lead Negotiator Al Cyr.
IAM Northwest District 250 negotiations at Finning begin in February 2015.