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Field Bunkhouse Update

January 31 , 2002

CP Rail convened a conference call with operating employee unions and company representatives on Jan. 22, 2002 for the purpose of updating the organisations on the status of the renovation plans for the Field bunkhouse.

The company has chosen to give responsibility for the Field bunkhouse project to its real estate department. This responsibility had previously been assigned to the supply services department.

The company has made significant changes to the renovation plans since first presented to the operating employee unions in early October of last year. While we were given these plans last October, other proposals sidetracked us for a while and the unions were never given an opportunity for input on those plans. Now the real estate department of the company has made significant changes to those plans.

History

The last set of renovation plans shown to the unions indicated that the bunkhouse would be primarily gutted and rebuilt using very little of the existing bunkhouse due to its present state. We hadnít had the opportunity to give suggestions on that plan yet and there were some problems but we felt, given the age of the building, gutting it was the way to go.

The new plans presented on January 28 indicate a noticeable shift from an ambitious attempt to solve a serious concern to a very minimal attempt to satisfy the much-stated concerns with this facility.

The Unions have decided to save our response to the companyís latest renovation plans until respective memberships have had the opportunity to review the companyís proposal and offer to the unions input as to a unified response.

The following is a summary of the company renovation proposal. You will notice that we are indeed working under a thin timeline as renovations are scheduled to commence on April 15, 2002.

It is strongly recommended that members should read this summary, and offer opinions and comments to respective union representatives as well as company officers in the prescribed manner.

Timeline

The plan is to begin the construction in the middle of April and it is anticipated that the renovation will take around 2 months to complete.

Temporary Accommodations

To facilitate the renovation the company has arranged for the following accommodations, which will be utilised during the renovation.

The Kicking Horse Lodge (Field)

The hotel has 13 rooms, which will be available to the company. It is expected that in order to reduce transportation costs and time requirements that this facility will be the primary crew accommodations throughout the renovations.

The Company indicated that there are operational logistics that had yet to be resolved

There are no designated communal cooking facilities in the hotel, however the hotel has a suite with a kitchen and the present plan is for operating employees to utilise this facility for their eating requirements.

The unions have no indication from the company the intended resolution of issues concerning internal communal space, recreational facilities and cooking/eating Logistics.

When this facility is full the Company has arranged to utilise the..

West Louise Lodge (Wapta)

This hotel has 24 rooms available to the company and a crew kitchen.

The unions have no indication from the company the intended resolution of issues concerning internal communal space, recreational facilities and cooking/eating Logistics.

The company has indicated that there will be some form of co-ordinated transportation to and from this hotel.

The company has also indicated that there may be some opportunities for Revelstoke operating employees to stay in Golden.

 

 

The Renovations

As stated, the company sought no input for the proposed renovations for the Field bunkhouse from any of the operating employees unions. This, despite assurances that this would indeed be the fact, is of concern to operating employees.

As stated, the Company has altered this Renovation Plan from the one first indicated to Operating Employee Unions.

The following addresses the Operating Employee Unions summary of the

Proposed Field Bunkhouse Renovation Plan

Asbestos Removal

The company has indicated that asbestos will be removed from the Field bunkhouse.

Operating employee unions have expressed strong concerns about the removal process and its relationship to the existing carpet.

Concerns have also been raised concerning the actual commitment to removing all asbestos from the facility not just in selected areas.

 

Individual Rooms

Each room will have a combination heater/air conditioner installed. These units will be much like the units found in hotel rooms, with air-conditioning, heating, and fresh air distribution.

The company plans to address the issue of soundproofing in the following manner

The east end of the Bunkhouse will be re-framed and dry-walled to facilitate soundproofing. The framing indicated will only be done on the individual room walls but not ceilings.

The hallways throughout the sleeping quarters will also be framed and drywalled in the same fashion.

Due to room size requirements specified in Collective Agreements this soundproofing solution cannot be applied to the west rooms. The Company intends to close adjoining rooms on the West Wing, expand outwards the remaining west rooms, which will allow the same framing drywall process as the east rooms. In essence they are utilising the closed empty rooms as sound barriers for the remaining rooms.

The existing locker area, kitchen and smoking TV room will be converted to 6 Individual Rooms as well as Utility Space.

There is no indication that changes to the lighting fixtures or windows will be part of this renovation. Concerns were expressed pertaining to the windows and the company indicated that options being considered were to secure the windows shut, have a single piece of glass installed in the frame to seal the window or sealing with plywood.

New windows made from modern materials that can be opened or closed with a tight seal are not indicated.

Blackout window coverings will be installed in each room.

As for soundproofing on the ceilings, the companyís position is that the existing carpet acting as an underlay and new carpeting installed over the old carpet in individual rooms and hallways will be sufficient in reducing internal sound pollution.

The existing doors to the rooms are a mixture of hollow and solid core wood. The hollow core doors will be replaced with solid wood doors. The company had no response to the unions request for silent door hinges and sweepers being installed on each the bottoms of each door.

Issues concerning beds, bedding, white noise generators and all other amenities found in individual rooms must come from the service area budgets and will not be part of the renovation budget operating employee unions have expressed major concerns regarding the resolution of these issues.

Carpeting

The company has indicated that new carpeting will be installed throughout the

†non-utility areas of the bunkhouse.

This carpet will be installed over the existing carpet, which will act as an underlay.

Crew Kitchen and the Closing of the Restaurant

At the meeting it was stated for the first time officially that the restaurant would be removed from the bunkhouse.

The respective unions feel this decision is of major concern to many operating employees. The lack of consultation and negative impact this decision has on operating employees was strongly voiced

The company has indicated the intent to build a new crew kitchen where the existing restaurant is.

Some of the existing Hallmark/Halcon rooms will be converted to utility space, which will facilitate non-refrigerated food lockers.

The company has made the suggestion vending machines for sandwiches and beverages much like the ones presently in place in the N.M.C. might also be incorporated into the plan. Operating unions have concerns with this.

Bathrooms

The company has indicated in the plan changing the existing toilets and showers.

Mould resistant coverings to be applied on the walls

Floors to be re-tiled.

Proper ventilation has been indicated

The heat and ventilation in the womenís bathrooms will be evaluated.

 

Fitness/Games Room & Sauna

There is no indication in the proposal to address these areas.

 

North T.V. Room

This will be the primary communal area after the renovation.

There is no indication in the proposal to address this area.

Concerns were raised with regards to furnace noise in this room with indications that this concern would be reviewed

Lockers

The company has indicated in the plan an area allotted for lockers.

These are full size lockers with two doors and will situated in the entrance area of the bunkhouse to facilitate clothing storage and footwear change prior to operating employees entering the living areas of the bunkhouse.

The company indicated that these lockers would be communal, meaning each operating employee would not be designated a dedicated locker but would be required to bring a lock and attach it to a communal locker on arrival.

The respective unions have expressed major concerns regarding this issue.

There was indication that the utility space may incorporate a resolution to this issue.

 

Deck

The respective unions have expressed a desire for some form of outdoor structure to be incorporated into the plans to facilitate a barbecue as well as improved living environment enhancement. It was indicated that this structure would be incorporated into the plan.

 

Summary

It is the general opinion of the operating employee unions that given the fact that it has been 3 years of struggle to convince the company the necessity of addressing the inadequacies of this facility the company has decided to offer a substandard resolution to these concerns.

We feel these plans are substandard for the following reasons:

The above list is not all-inclusive but the main reasons are there. What we need is input from the members. What are your concerns with these plans? Do you agree with our objections? What type of position should we take with this?

We have a meeting with the company to respond to these plans scheduled for Friday February 8, 2002. We would like to hear your thoughts before this meeting.

Yours in solidarity, BLE/UTU Calgary & Revelstoke.