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Agreement reached in BC strike


October 16, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Vancouver, BC — Forest Industrial Relations (FIR) announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with the Un…
Vancouver, BC — Forest Industrial Relations (FIR) announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with the United Steelworkers union (USW) to end the current strike affecting the BC coastal forestry industry. FIR represents 31 logging and wood manufacturing companies, and the strike has lasted over 12 weeks, affecting approximately 4,500 employees.

Highlights of the agreement include a general wage increase for all job categories of 2% effective June 15, 2007, plus an additional 3% effective June 15, 2008. FIR has also offered to match the general wage settlement to be established in the Southern Interior in 2009. In addition, employees will be given more input on shift schedules and longer advance warning of shift changes. There are improvements to health and safety, employee prescription drug plans, and parental and family leave. The contract would have a three year term, from June 15, 2007 until June 14, 2010.

“We recognize that the strike has been a difficult time for everyone and we are pleased that the union has accepted our latest offer,” said Terry Lineker, president of FIR. “We hope to soon get back to the important task of rebuilding the coastal forest products industry for the benefit of both employers and employees.”

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The agreement is subject to ratification by the USW members and FIR member companies. If approved, work would resume as early as October 22.