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Unifor members rally for fair softwood lumber deal


June 21, 2017
By Unifor

Jun. 20, 2017 – Unifor members rallied on Monday at Irving Pulp and Paper in an effort to encourage the federal government to reach a fair negotiated softwood lumber deal with the U.S. to help protect Canadian jobs.

“The federal government’s recent aid package for the industry was important, but the most important outcome is a negotiated softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. that benefits Canadian communities,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “With the right choices and strong action, Canada’s forestry industry can continue to have a key role in our economy.”

Unifor organized this as one of five simultaneous events across the country. Forestry employers were invited to participate in the rallies and join in the call for a fair trade deal.

“We are pleased to see so many forestry employers throughout the Atlantic joining with us to highlight the importance of the sector to so many communities and families across the region,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic regional director.

Forestry provides 202,000 direct jobs in 650 communities across Canada, including more than 20,000 in Atlantic Canada. Forestry supply and transport companies create thousands more jobs; and the economic activity generated by the spending of forestry workers creates even more. For every forestry job, 1.5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy. In total, forestry is responsible for more than half a million Canadian jobs.

After imposing a 20 per cent countervailing tariff on Canadian softwood exports last month, it is anticipated that the Trump administration will add to those with “anti-dumping” tariffs on June 23.