Union member (Former Employee), New Westminster, BC – April 9, 2013
Pros: excellent pay.
Cons: bad hours.
This review is for the New Westminster paper plant: Average seniority at this place around 2010 was about 20-25 years, so before you moved up the only choice was to wait, especially due to its unionized environment. Salary and benefits were up around the roof, great for a place that only required high school, the jobs were dead end but easy and they allowed reading books for some jobs which makes it a less than a mind numbing job.
Culture and values were pretty bad, tough to be under 30 at this job like I was, however the people were respectful. Very old school minded place from management all the way down the ladder.
Job security... well I got canned due to bad management practices, I along with another 50-60... so, perhaps the same as everywhere else, if you made it past 15 years you will be fine. However if the trade men/women liked you and you passed their aptitudes tests you could get an apprenticeship. If you had half a brain and/or kissed enough meat plus the right attitude they would move you to management, or at least management helper after around 10+ years. At least one manager however had neither, just the willingness to do the dirty jobs.
Management was all right, no complaints. They had their moody days when they wouldn't allow you to read a book in a mind numbing job and would prefer that you stare at the wall, or the machine you were looking after (even though they all had alarms to indicate something was wrong).
Work life balance, very bad as its a 24/7 manufacturing plant, but they do pay you enough to say that it was worth it.
If you want a life time job with limited but possible advancement opportunities this job is ideal. Again, the pay is glorious at this place for a person with no skills but willing to work.