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Thousands Of Forest Workers Tell Ottawa To ‘Wake Up’


May 1, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada
Forest industry workers and supporters made their concerns known to the federal government with a rally in early June.

OTTAWA — About 2,500 forest industry supporters marched in Ottawa June 2 to raise awareness of the impact of the forestry crisis on families and communities across Canada. Laid-off forestry workers, …

OTTAWA — About 2,500 forest industry supporters marched in Ottawa June 2 to raise awareness of the impact of the forestry crisis on families and communities across Canada. Laid-off forestry workers, worried pensioners, mayors and officials from mill towns, and hundreds of forest-industry supporters joined the workers in a noisy march through the streets of Ottawa from Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt’s office to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office at the Langevin block.

The event was organized by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. “Our main demand has always been for the federal government to backstop loans so that viable companies can keep operating, saving jobs and communities,” says CEP president Dave Coles. “We are not asking for a bailout.”

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In addition, the union wants the federal government level the playing field by matching U. S. tax credits for the use of alternative fuel.

In May, forestry workers occupied the offices of four Conservative Cabinet Ministers and three MPs to drive home their demand for action on Canada’s forest crisis.

The CEP claims 55,000 jobs have been lost in the forest products industry in the last two years.

NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe also addressed the rally. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was invited but declined.


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