Management wants us to believe that there is no problem with attracting trades at Hudbay.
The problem is that the journeyman rate has fallen so far below industry standard for our area and no one is coming here.
Why would you when everywhere else in the North pays significantly more.
For years Hudbay has relied on apprentices they have built alongside the skillful, experienced journeyman who have spent their entire careers in the plant.
Make no mistake about it, our trades work on equipment from the 1930’s all the way to brand new installations today.
Many times the old machinery that is worked on routinely is now obsolete with parts that cannot be ordered anymore.
Our trades find a way to make it run.
Build the parts needed.
So production carries on.
This experience and skill cannot be learned overnight, it takes years for it to be passed on.
That is why Hudbay has had such success passing knowledge from generation to generation of their trades.
This is not the case anymore.
Becoming an apprentice is not attractive anymore.
In most cases, as soon as you start your apprenticeship Hudbay cuts your wage by $4-5/hr.
They force you to sign a service agreement committing 8-10 years service when you start.
You are required to move once a year for technical training in another city. You are required to pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks. You are required to pay for lodging for 8-10 weeks for the duration of your schooling level.
It’s a financial strain. The bills at home don’t change, just the added expense of living away.
Many leave their family and kids, not to see them for months at a time.
It’s a sacrifice not many are willing to make.
They wonder why apprenticeship bulletins go unanswered.
We proposed a narrowing of the gap between apprentice start wage and journeyman rate to help the financial strain at the beginning.
We proposed reducing the service agreement to a reasonable and realistic amount.
We want to make it more attractive to become a trade.
We were told NO.
With are valued tradespeople moving on to better, more attractive pastures.
With no apprentices to fill their shoes.
Who will be left?
Your Negotiating Committee