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BC forestry strike to drag on


July 24, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Vancouver, BC–There appears to be no end in sight to the paralyzing forestry strike in British Columbia. According…

Vancouver, BC–There appears to be no end in sight to the paralyzing forestry strike in British Columbia. According to a recent report by the Globe and Mail, the shutdown went into effect on July 20, effectively idling more than 30 forest companies and 6,500 unionized loggers and sawmill workers.

A host of issues centred on shift scheduling, contracting out and severance pay have both sides, the United Steelworkers Union and Forest Industrial Relations, an organization that represents 31 of the 34 companies involved in the conflict, firm in their respective resolve.

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If longer shifts are dangerous or physically demanding, they are not supposed to be implemented, but our guys are working 10, 11, 12 hours a shift and sometimes it becomes dangerous, the Globe reported Bob Matters, wood council chairman of District 3 of the USW as saying. Believe me, this issue is being driven home by our members, not the union.

The Globe further confirmed that no plans to return to the bargaining table have been set, and that FIR maintains its previous offer, which involves a wage increase of 5% over a two-year period is both fair and reasonable, and should be submitted to union members for a vote.


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