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Governments back to work legislation gets two thumbs up from FPAC


April 17, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada approves of the governments action to proceed with back to work legislat…

The Forest Products Association of Canada approves of the governments action to proceed with back to work legislation for CNs freight conductors and switching yard employees.

Canadas forest products industry has yet to recover from the impact of last Februarys strike, and this latest walkout has resulted in significant service disruptions, lost contracts and penalties for our members, said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of FPAC.

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A recent rejection of a tentative agreement by members of the United Transportation Union with CN Rail, has culminated in rotating strikes and lockouts. According to a report by the Prince George Free Press, in February, the rail strike contributed to temporary closures of Canfor mills in Mackenzie, Smithers, Fort Nelson and Vanderhoof. The report further confirmed that Canfor makes use of roughly 1,000 rail cars every week, and during the strike, the company received less than a quarter of the service they require.

The forest products industry is one of Canadas single largest users of freight rail services, annually shipping by rail million of tonnes of finished product. As most of the industrys mills are located in remote areas where rail service is the only viable transportation mode, other forms of ground transportation are either too costly or unavailable to provide our companies with relief, making our sector particularly vulnerable to even the shortest disruptions in service, Lazar continued. A prolonged dispute would have disastrous economic consequences for Canadas economy and its reputation as a reliable supplier, and we welcome the governments action.


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