..pssst! It's down there |

[I think the editorial staff missed the usual photo!]

Comment by Bill Moore
....And as for those New Year’s reso-lutions…
....I am sure it’s fair to say the forest industry has just come through one of its worst years in the past two decades. When we look back on 1970 and think of the long drawn out labor-management negotiations in the Sanyo and logging industry, the crippling tall boat strike, and the pulp mills strikes, it is hoped that we will not again see a repeat of the year.
....The problems would have been bad enough for any economy, but to them were added the falling prices of lumber and plywood, and the realization by the forest industry that pollution control is going to cost millions of dollars over the next few years. Third quarter earnings dropped, neither labor nor management were happy over the negotiated settlements, and the public hollered pollution.
....What a year! It could be likened to a heavyweight champ who was rough-
ed up in the first round, staggered by her right cross in the seventh and darn near brought to his knees as the last round ended.
....The contender was an unknown by the name of “Changing Times”. And
it can be said of Mr. Times that he really packs a wallop. It remains to be seen if the champ can come back in 1971.
....Judging by past performances he can. But this fellow Changing Times will have to be studied really well. And the Champ will have to find some new methods to handle his challenger.
....Maybe this parallel seems to make light of what must be considered some pretty serious events of 1970, but for all its seriousness I can’t find justification for an attitude of defeatism or for that matter a lack of optimism.
If you listen to economic sooth-sayers in times like these you just get more confused. I’d be inclined to take the advice of one of the good old-time bul
cooks in the camps. Some of these fellows have seen a lot of ups and downs and from their vantage point among men they’re pretty good judges of the future.
....A lot of people are writing and saying these days just what is wrong with the world, or the forest industry, or for that matter everything. So, not to let all these interpreters of the scene drown out an inlet logger’s voice, I’d like to point out a few faults in our forest industry and a few observations on how to cure them.
....I address these observations in the form of a New Year’s resolution to the Champ, the forest industry of B.C.
First, the labor-management scene and the lack of trust these two groups hold for each other. The fear of labor leaders, and labor as an organization that is held by the leaders of our industry is really appalling.
....That fear comes from a lack of “keeping with your people” and from
British Columbia Lumberman, December, 1970  

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building yourself into an economic fishbowl.
....So much delegation of authority has been built up in nearly all our big companies that the barriers between top management and middle manage-ment and the employee are strewn with an impassable barbed wire fence.
It is a situation that must be corrected if we are to find any form of internal order and reason in our industry.
....The defensive attitude of top man-agement today, particularly in matters of pollution, is a sad sign of our times. Even good fighters, on the defensive, do not win their battles. More open and aggressive tactics at this time would win a few rounds.
....Management has built their pyramid and find themselves stuck at the top. Well gentleman for what it’s worth here’s my New Year’s resolution to you: Come out of the fish bowl and wander into the crowd.
....Don’t wait until the union forms a plant pollution committee. Ask them to join yours. Listen to them. Give them some action. Go to one of your camps or plants and send the foreman away for a night to the local pub and sit in with the truck drivers, rigging slingers and boom men.
....Don’t do it just once, but set up
regular meetings. And if you tell me the office won’t get along without you, I’ll say you haven’t built up much of an office staff while you’ve being in the fishbowl.
....Find out what is really wrong with your safety records and why this industry allows fifty men a year to die through careless acts. I guarantee you’ll find so much apathy and “who cares” attitudes that you’ll soon re-vamp your number one company pro-ject of computerizing the Liechenstein lumber market, and make safe pro-duction your personal cavalcade.
....And while you’re at it, get together with some of your other colleagues at the top of other big companies, pick up the phone and call the union lead-ers and go have a coffee with them.
Some of these union leaders are tough like some of you. Some of them have built themselves into a fishbowl, too. And some of them are normal people like you, too.
....But, Mr. Management of the Champ, you have to make the first move. Because it’s the arena you built — not theirs. For you see, as a lot
of your people are coming to realize,
this category called safety or safe production is really what it’s all about in later management these days.

....We’re not talking about cuts and bruises any more, or the wearing of a new hard-toed shoe. When you get involved in safety today you’re talking about the environmental life of the young rigging slinger who puts in eight hours on a side hill in rain or sun and who just wonders if there’s a better life somewhere else where may- be somebody cares.
....Or you’re talking about a man that operates a $150,000 log loader of yours, who takes his orders from a side foreman who drives a pickup like a maniac about the claim, scaring hell out of truck drivers.
....There was a time when “safety men” were squares. But, gentleman, today they’re becoming the “in crowd!” Safety today is attitude, anti- pollution, protective clothing, work-ing environment, and “what am I doing here?” You may try to separate them, but your only fooling yourself if you think you can.
....Young people today are pointing out to our entire established commun-ity that they’re not going to go along with our old ways with the economic class structure and the remoteness that industry has built around itself.

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British Columbia Lumberman, December, 1970

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...................................................From page 22
Certainly they go too far at times in their condemnation of our system. But wouldn’t it be wise to listen and maybe bend a little?
....Could it be that our industrial lead-ers, including leaders of the forest industry, would be so stubborn as to hold out for a Custer’s Last Stand?
If so, I’m sure the pioneers who built this land and put in a thinking, fight-ing, hardship day, every day, would not go along with today’s leaders, who may be economic wizards but have unfortunately lost touch with the people they guide.
....I’d also like to give a New Year’s resolution to the union leaders in the forest industry.
....I figured there are a few fishbowls there, too. And I’m sure the bargain-ing table has dulled your sense of the whole object of the exercise.
....The people you advise and influence in this forest industry should be able to expect a little more emphasis from you in your regard for their safety on-the-job. You won’t win this event at the bargaining table — “no way”. For a proper, true and workable safe production system will only come about when you fellows answer that phone call, drop what you’re doing and go have coffee with the management leaders.
....And you’d better make that a trust-
ing cup of coffee, because no matter how you personally feel you’re the men who are needed, along with the others, to make this industry a safer place to work in.
....Find new guidelines. Make your own rules. Get with it in an attitude of must trust. Gentleman, you’re being watched, and there’s nowhere to turn but up if you’ll get together. There’s a crowd of 50,000 people watching you, and Mr. Changing Times may take you on, too, if you don’t guard your chin.
....Well the forest around us has seen
many a contest of people, and I suppose this challenger, Changing Times, has left his mark down through the centuries of our forests.
....Let’s have a little faith in our champ. He’s B.C.’s best, and you and I and a lot of other people need him in good health.
....Here’s to the new years ahead, and to an industry that will keep the title — Champ.

........................Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, December, 1970