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Workers wait for WFP sawmill decision


January 7, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

It’s a waiting game for Western Forest Products employees, as they await the company’s decision on whet…

It’s a waiting game for Western Forest Products employees, as they await the company’s decision on whether it will reopen seven sawmills on Vancouver Island in BC.

The facilities closed for nearly a month over the Christmas holidays, and now the company says it’s taking stock of international wood markets to see what its next steps should be, a report by Nanaimo Daily News confirmed.

A possible strike at the Port of Nanaimo could worsen the situation for WFP, even if it does decide to get its mills up and running, leaving the company unable to ship its products. Negotiations are ongoing between the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and as the Nanaimo Daily News reported, B.C. ports are anxiously awaiting a decision. A failure in negotiations would see 450 foremen going on strike as early as this week, which would effectively shut down ports in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert.

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