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Labor Agree Between Abt's Canexel Hardboard

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EXHIBIT 10.29a


COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT


BY AND BETWEEN


ABT CANADA LIMITED


EAST RIVER PLANT


CHESTER, N.S.,


HEREINAFTER CALLED THE "COMPANY"


AND


COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS
UNION OF CANADA


AND


ITS AFFILIATED LOCAL NO. 434,


HEREINAFTER CALLED "THE UNION"


1997-2002


TABLE OF CONTENTS


TITLE PAGE


TABLE OF CONTENTS


TEXT OF AGREEMENT


ARTICLE


1 Purpose of the Agreement 1 2 Recognition, Union Security and Check-Off 1 3 Management Rights 2 4 Seniority 3 5 Promotion, Lay-Off and Recall 4 6 Automation and Technological Changes 11 7 Contracting Out 12 8 Classification and Wage Rates 12 9 Plant Rules and Safety 13 10 Continuance of Operations 14 11 Vacations, Holidays and Leaves of Absence 14 12 Adjustment of Complaints 15 13 Entire Agreement Clause 17 14 Duration of Agreement 17 15 Amendment of the Agreement 17 16 Validity 17


APPENDIX A - HOURS OF WORK AND WAGE RATE SCHEDULE


A1 Hours of work and overtime 19 A2 Job classification and hourly rate scale 28


APPENDIX B - VACATION PLAN, STATUTORY HOLIDAYS AND LEAVES OF ABSENCE


B1 Vacation Plan 34 B2 Plant Holidays 37 B3 Non-Scheduled Holidays 39 B4 Bereavement Leave 40 B5 Jury Duty 40


APPENDIX C - DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE 42


i


APPENDIX D - INSURANCE PLANS 43 AND RETIREMENT PLAN


LETTERS OF INTENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENTS 62
LETTER OF INTENT 70


ii


The parties agree all positions in the Plant are gender neutral. Whenever used, the term "he" will be interpreted to designate male or female employees.


ARTICLE 1


PURPOSE OF THE AGREEMENT


IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS AGREEMENT TO SET forth the complete agreement on all matters negotiated and agreed to by both parties to this agreement and to peacefully adjust all disputes so that the operation of the plant will continue uninterrupted.


ARTICLE 2


RECOGNITION, UNION SECURITY AND CHECK-OFF


2.01 The Company recognizes the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union
of Canada Local 434, as the sole Bargaining Agent for those employees of
the Company who come within the bargaining unit as certified by the Labour
Relations Board (Nova Scotia) by Order L.R.B. 1099, dated the 21/st/ day of
June 1967 as long as the said Order remains in full force and effect.


2.02 All employees eligible for Union membership will become members of the
Union upon completion of their probationary period and will maintain such
membership as a condition of continued employment.


2.03 The Company will deduct from each employee within the Union's jurisdiction
from wages owing and payable to each employee such amount as may be
designated in a written assignment of wages to the Union as provided for in
Section 59,Sub-Sections 1 and 2 of the Act, which means a weekly proportion
of the regular monthly membership dues and initiation fees of such
employee. The monthly remittance of Union dues shall be made, by the
Company to the designated Union official, on or about the 15/th/ of the
month immediately following the deduction of such dues.


2.04 If any action arises from the compulsory check-off of dues or the deduction
from wages in accordance with Sub-Section 2.03, the Union guarantees to
hold the Company harmless from all liability and to reimburse all expenses
incurred by the Company in defending such


1


action.


2.05 The Union shall advise the Company in writing of the amount to be deducted
from the wages of each employee within its jurisdiction, any change in the
amount of deduction to be given by the Union to the Company in writing at
least two (2) weeks prior to its effective date.


2.06 With the monthly remittance of Union dues, the Company shall furnish the
Union with a duplicate statement showing the total amount deducted and the
names of the employees for whom no deduction was made because their
earnings were insufficient during the said monthly period.


2.07 The Company shall not be responsible for collecting any past or future
arrears in Union dues, but shall be obliged only to check-off weekly a
fixed amount as long as the wages owing and payable to the employee are
sufficient to cover this deduction.


2.08 It is understood and agreed that all employees must complete a probationary
period of ninety (90) sequential days of work without a defined break, and
may be released by the Company during the first ninety (90) sequential days
of work in the Company's sole discretion. If before completion of the
probationary period, there is a defined break in the probationary
employee's sequence of working days, which is sixty (60) days or longer,
the probationary period for that probationary employee shall begin again
upon the probationary employee's return to work. Following successful
completion of the employee's probationary period, the employee's seniority
will be backdated to the employee's date of hire, and the employee will
become eligible for benefits.


2.09 The Union will provide the Company with a current listing of their
stewards, and officers.


ARTICLE 3


MANAGEMENT RIGHTS


3.01 The Company retains its right to manage the plant in all respects except as
specifically limited by this Agreement.


2


3.02 The Company retains its right to establish from time to time rules and
regulations governing employees covered by this Agreement providing that
such rules and regulations are not inconsistent with the provisions of this
Agreement.


ARTICLE 4


SENIORITY


4.01 Seniority is defined as follows:


a) Plant Seniority: All time an employee has been employed at the East
---------------
River Plant without a break as defined below.


b) Job Seniority: All time an employee has been classified on a job in
--------------
the plant without a break as defined below.


c) Department Seniority (Maintenance): All time an employee has been
-----------------------------------
classified in the Maintenance Department.


4.02 An employee will lose all service he has to his credit if he:


a) voluntarily leaves the service of the Company;


b) is discharged and is not reinstated;


c) is laid-off in excess of twelve (12) consecutive months for employees
with one (1) year of service or less;


d) is laid-off in excess of twenty-four (24) consecutive months for
employees with more than one (1) year of service;


e) refuses an offer of recall as stipulated in Section 5.08.


4.03 Seniority rights shall only be recognized after acceptance of the employees
by the Company on completion of the training periods set out in 5.01.
Subject to satisfactory performance throughout the training period or
periods, seniority shall date from the commencement of the training
periods.


4.04 Temporary personnel hired for work between April 15 and September 15 and
between


3


November 1 and November 15 shall not acquire seniority rights.


4.05 A seniority list showing job and plant seniority as mentioned above and the
order of the line of progression shall be placed on the bulletin boards,
and will be revised every six (6) months (January and July). The Local
Union will be supplied twelve (12) copies of the revised seniority list.


4.06 a) An employee re-entering the bargaining unit after an absence of more
than 259 cumulative working days but less than 259 days plus one (1)
fiscal year will return to the labour pool, with the plant service he
had acquired while he was in the bargaining unit for the purpose of
bumping and job posting.


b) An employee re-entering the bargaining unit, from a non-bargaining
unit position after an absence of 259 cumulative working days plus one
(1) fiscal year or more will return to the bargaining unit as a new
employee, but will maintain seniority for the purposes of vacation
only.


c) Those employees who have previously left the bargaining unit will
return under the language existing in the Labour Agreement at the time
of leaving the bargaining unit.


4.07 Whenever an employee is granted a leave of absence by the Company he will
generally continue to accumulate plant, job and department service.
However, in certain special circumstances it may be decided, by mutual
agreement between the Company and Local Union, that such service does not
accumulate during the leave of absence.


ARTICLE 5


PROMOTION, LAY-OFF AND RECALL


5.01 Lines of progression have been established in the plant. Promotions from
the first step to the last within a line of progression shall be based on
job seniority subject only to the senior employee being able to fulfill the
normal requirements of a job following a trial and/or training period
unless the Company and the Union agree that irrespective of a trial and/or
training period such employee cannot fulfill the normal requirements of the
job. Duration and nature of trial periods and training periods referred to
in the sub-paragraph shall be determined by mutual agreement by the Company
and the Union shall not in any case exceed a period of thirty (30) working
days.


4


5


5.02 If an employee fails to prove himself or herself capable of performing the
duties of the new job or if the employee should decide not to accept the
new job, the employee may, after the trial period of not more than fifteen
(15) working days, return to his former job without loss of seniority. In
the case of trade apprentices the fifteen (15) working days should read
sixty (60) working days.


5.03 a) An employee re-entering the bargaining unit, from a non-bargaining
unit position, after an absence of less than 260 cumulative working
days will return to his former classification in the bargaining unit
and will maintain all seniority rights.


b) An employee may be temporarily assigned to a non-bargaining unit
position, i.e., not replacing a regular non-bargaining unit employee
(ex. as an extra supervisor) and which does not include replacing for
the purposes of absences such as vacation or sickness. In such
circumstances, the employee may accumulate 259 working days in the
assigned position. During the 259 working days, he may be returned to
the bargaining unit as many times as is necessary without loss of
seniority rights.


c) i) If at any time within these 259 working days he is returned to
the bargaining unit for a period of 12 full consecutive months,
he will again be eligible to be temporarily assigned to a non-
bargaining unit position and begin again to accumulate 259
working days in the assigned position.


ii) If the employee exceeds 259 cumulative days and is subsequently
returned to the bargaining unit, he shall return by one of the
following:


*Within one fiscal year of the day he exceeds 259 cumulative working days he will return as per paragraph 4.06 a). If he remains in the bargaining unit for a period of 12 full consecutive months, he will again be eligible to be temporarily assigned to a non bargaining unit position and begin again to accumulate 259 working days in the assigned position.


If again removed from the bargaining unit within one fiscal year of the day he exceeded 259 cumulative days, he will then return as per paragraph 4.06 b).


**An employee who remains out of the bargaining unit for one fiscal year after having exceeded 259 cumulative days will then be returned to the bargaining unit as per 4.06 b).


d) Those employees who have previously left the bargaining unit will
return under the language existing in the Labour Agreement at the time
of leaving the bargaining unit.


e) When an employee is appointed on temporary assignment to a supervisory
position not subject to this Agreement, the Company will notify the
Department Steward of such assignment, giving the name of the employee
and the expected duration of the


6


assignment.


5.04 When a temporary vacancy of less than fourteen (14) days occurs and there
is an employee in the same line of progression, fully qualified and capable
of filling the vacancy, promotion will be made from the employees in the
same line of progression in which the vacancy occurs, by the following
method:


FIRST
-----


The employee will move up the Line of Progression, and the bottom job shall
be filled at straight time rates.


SECOND
------


Where a qualified and capable employee is not available to perform the
duties of the vacancy, it will be filled by the employees in the job from
which the vacancy occurred, by the following method:


The employee performing the job on the preceding shift may remain at work
on overtime rates.


THIRD
-----


The vacancy will be offered, at overtime rates, by job seniority to the
employees classified in that job.


FOURTH
------


The vacancy will be offered, at overtime rates, by job seniority to
employees classified in that line of progression that are qualified and
capable of performing the job. The vacancy will be offered to the most
senior employees by job seniority in the top job in the line of progression
then down the line of progression in the same manner.


FIFTH
-----


Should all other methods fail, the employee performing the job on the
preceding shift shall perform the job at overtime rates.


7


5.05 All temporary vacancies expected to last fourteen (14) days or more shall
be filled as follows:


a) The most senior employee in the plant classified in the job will be
scheduled to fill the job vacancy.


b) Those employees trained in spare jobs shall, as assigned by
management, fill a temporary vacancy.


c) If nobody meeting the requirements of a) and b) above is available,
the line will move up and the entry job will be filled from among
qualified employees in the labour pool based on plant seniority.


d) If the job cannot be filled through a) b) and c) above, it will be
posted as a temporary vacancy.


e) "Spare" jobs are not open to skilled trades.


5.06 If as a result of an error in the application of Articles 5.04 and/or 5.05,
an employee loses an opportunity for overtime, the sole remedy that an
adversely affected employee will be given is the next overtime work
opportunity for which the adversely affected employee is qualified to make
up the overtime lost. Such remedial overtime work opportunity assigned
shall not be grievable.


5.07 a) In the case of a reduction in the work force, regular classified
employees will be demoted step by step down their line of progression
in the reverse order of the steps of their progression.


b) An employee who is laid-off from the bottom job in an established line
of progression may displace an employee in the bottom-rated job of
another established line of progression within the operating
departments, if he has longer plant seniority than the latter and if
he is capable of performing the duties of the job to which he seeks
appointment. However, in the event this layoff is for fourteen (14)
days or more, a ten (10) working day training/trial period will be
provided for the job to which the employee seeks appointment.


8


c) If an employee is laid-off from the bottom job of an established line
of progression and he does not have the Plant Seniority necessary to
claim a bottom-rated job in another line of progression as per 5.07 b)
above, while there are more junior employees in point of plant service
on jobs classified in Class 2, 3 or 4, the Company will allow the most
senior employee in point of job seniority on a bottom-rated job who is
capable of performing the duties of the job held by the most junior
employees classified in Class 2, 3 or 4 to displace that junior
employee. This will create a job vacancy on a bottom job which may be
claimed under the provisions of paragraph 5.07 b) above. In the event
the above cannot be done due to an employee being frozen on a bottom-
rated job, the displacement will take place at the level above the
bottom-rated job providing the job falls in a Class 2, 3 or 4.


d) After the application of paragraph a) b) c) above, if there is still a
senior employee in point of plant seniority who is unemployed while
junior employees are scheduled to work in Class 5, then the most
junior Class 5 in point of plant seniority will be laid off and
employees will move up the line of progression. This will create a
vacancy on the bottom job which may be claimed under the provisions of
5.07 b) above. If this procedure still does not provide employment for
a senior employee in point of plant seniority while junior employees
are working, the procedure will then be repeated with Class 6 and
eventually with Class 7, if necessary. If employees in the line of
progression are not qualified and capable of filling the vacancy in
Class 5, 6 or 7, the job will be filled as follows:


i) if the lay-off is expected to exceed fourteen (14) days, the
Company will provide the training to the senior employee in the
line of progression so he can move up the line.


ii) if the lay-off is for fourteen (14) days or less, the vacancy
will be filled by a senior employee in the plant who is qualified
and capable of performing the job without training.


e) The Company will post a weekly schedule thereby giving notice to
employees who are affected by a temporary reduction in the work force
by noon on Wednesday. Employees so affected must give notice to the
Company of their intention to exercise their bumping rights before 9
A.M. Friday following the posting of the first schedule showing the
reduction.


The Company will attempt to notify those employees who are absent from
work for a justifiable cause at the time of the announcement.


9


f) In the case of a temporary reduction in the work force, employees who
have exercised their bumping rights will not be able to progress in
that line of progression on a permanent classified basis until all the
employees who are displaced in that line of progression have returned
to the occupation they would have held had they not been displaced.


g) In the case of a temporary reduction in the work force, employees who
have exercised their bumping rights will return to their regular
classification following the completion of the temporary reduction of
the work force or as per dispositions of 5.05 above.


h) In the case of a reduction of the work force in the maintenance
department, the employees displaced will be the ones having the least
departmental seniority in the trade in which the reduction occurs.


i) The employees to be laid-off from the labour pool will be the most
junior in plant service.


j) Notwithstanding anything else to the contrary in this Collective
Agreement, the position of Water Treatment Plant Operator is not
---
subject to the bumping provision of Article 5.
-------


5.08 When recalling employees in Class 7 and below, plant seniority will apply.


When recalling employees on jobs in Class 8 and above the jobs will be
filled by the employee with the most plant seniority who held the
classification according to the seniority list at time of lay-off.


a) The employee must return to the service of the Company within ten (10)
days of notice of recall. Failure to return within ten (10) days of
recall will result in loss of recall rights.


b) The lay-off will be a termination of employment and recall rights will
lapse if:


i) the lay-off lasts more than twelve (12) consecutive months
without re-employment for employees with one (1) year of service
or less;


ii) the lay-off lasts more than twenty-four (24) consecutive months
without re-employment for employees with more than one (1) year
of service.


10


5.09 Should an employee who has been laid off not be re-employed as stated
above, the Union will be advised of the reason therefore in writing.


5.10 When a vacancy occurs in the bottom job in any line of progression the
Company shall post on the bulletin board a notice concerning the job
vacancy; such posting shall be for a period of fourteen (14) calendar days
and the Company shall have the right to make a temporary appointment
without grievance. Such notice shall indicate the qualifications essential
for the job and will also state the qualifications necessary for promotion
within the line of progression.


5.11 In selecting the employee to fill the vacancy from the applicants, the
Company shall be guided by the factors set out in paragraph 5.01 of this
Article. The successful applicant shall be in the new position within
fifty (50) days of the job posting expiry date.


5.12 If none of the applicants qualify for the job posted, the Company will
select from the qualified applicants outside of the bargaining unit.


5.13 Successful applicants for job posting will be limited to one job posting
for twelve (12) months providing it does not involve an increase in pay.


5.14 A regular employee being awarded a job posting shall not accumulate any
seniority rights on the new job for the first fifteen (15) working days.
Subject to satisfactory service on the new job, the employee's job
seniority shall date from the commencement date of the fifteen (15) working
day period. If during this fifteen (15) working day period, the employee
is, in the Company's opinion, not capable of satisfactory performance or
should the employee request to revert to the employee's former job, the
employee shall immediately return to the employee's former job without loss
of seniority. In the case of trade apprentices, the fifteen (15) working
days should read sixty (60) working days.


5.15 It is agreed that an employee's service will be terminated on the first day
of the month following his 65/th/ birthday.


11


ARTICLE 6


AUTOMATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES


6.01 The Company undertakes to advise the Union in advance as far as is
possible, of any technological or operational changes or installation of
new equipment which the Company has decided to introduce which will result
in significant changes in the employment status of employees or
significantly alter the job content of one or
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