Some quick thoughts on the new Babine mill. Ian Gray phoned me the other day so I have officially received my call back. After a number of calls and some politics, Worksafe is back on board so I will be starting work on Dec. 16 of this month.
Now there are a few things that should be said here:
First an foremost I think is it time for me as Mr. Neave might say get back on the horse. There are some things in life you just have to finish up. This for me is one. I have 35 and a half years there and for some reason I want to put in 40.
Second, I will not be going back to the old Babine. It is gone, cut up, ground down and packed away. The new mill, B2 as I have thinking of it, will be a totally new experience. Hampton is in the unique position to put in place and start up a new mill with a core of experienced workers.
Third, this not another super mill, nor is it too small. B2 looks to be what is termed right sized. Hampton, the union and our town can start it right. We did it back in 1976 with little experience. Some of us remember that with pride. Let’s let the new crew take over, wind it up and make it hum.
Fourth, and this is the big brass ring, no company can afford to run in the red. If Babine is not making money, we as workers will not be either. Therefore some attitudes need to change. Point five, before someone reading this thinks I am forgetting safety, it is at the core of everything. Some of us have gone through something we really do not have the words for. A lot of us are returning to B2 and that is going to be a big plus. The last point, start ups are always dangerous. The next year to two will be high risk as far as serious injuries are concerned.
The February start up is fast approaching and we are going to start up right, meaning safely.
I am going back because I need to and want to. I will not go back to be a replaceable part in a machine.
The best Christmas present I can give or receive this year happens to be on the 16 of this month.
Merry Christmas, work and play safe.