ORGB_1005_ Assignment_1

Case Study Review on Northwest Canadian Forest Products Limited

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Overview:

Northwest Canadian Forest Products Limited owns five sawmills in BC and Alberta. They produce high quality lumber for exports to USA and Japan in addition to lower quality lumber for domestic construction industry. The president of Northwest Canadian Forest Products limited is deciding whether to invest money to the out-dated Jackson mill in BC or construct a new mill in Alberta by reducing half of the work force in Jackson. The president is more inclined to the latter decision due to the poor labour-management relationship in Jackson. As the Jackson mill has the bitterest strike during the last round of collective bargaining and the worst safety record of all the company’s mills. The Jackson mill production manager, Des complained about the union’s lack of attention to the production and management issues at the mill. On the other hand, the chief union steward, Ivan is dissatisfied with the management’s passive attitude toward the improved safety standard and better equipment demanded by the union. Vic, the youngest steward is unhappy with management treating the young staff members in a disrespectful way. On the side of the management, Big Bad John, the most experienced supervisor in the mill criticizes the workers for making mistakes and having poor work ethics. The mill’s new general manager, Digby is tasked to improve work productivity and product quality in the mill. Without any improvement, a missive layoff would occur in the mill. The president of the local union, Moe is made aware of the situation at the mill. However, he is uncertain if the company is serious about the potential layoffs or merely bluffing to get the employees to work harder.

Analysis:

There are 3 key problems identified in this case study. First, the president of the lumber company is more open to relocating to Alberta versus invest in Jackson due to the better labour relations climate in Alberta. Second, there are major divide in views and beliefs between the union and the management. Lastly, there is lack of trust and communication between the worker and the mill’s upper management

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