COPPER DIVISION: “Virtual Bumping” a Success
The current modernization project is reducing CCR’s manpower requirements from 820 to about 700. Equally significant is that 300 of the hourly employees have had to be retrained for new positions. For both reasons, the last set of labour negotiations, two years ago, could have been a very tense time.
Instead of fighting the changes, the United Steelworkers of America local made a creative suggestion-a virtual displacement of people-that reduced disruption to both work and people. Employees took part in a two-week process of bumping on paper only. Depending on seniority, workers could choose the new job that they ultimately wanted; once all the choices had been finalized, then the retraining began.
“Such a complex project was made possible through a joint effort of our union leadership, employees, supervisors and management team,” says Viken Baboudjian, CCR’s general manager. “CCR is proud of its ability to be in the forefront of change.”